Turkish PM reiterates right to defend airspace

During his visit to Bulgaria, Davutoglu asks world to notice 'who is provoking who?' as he explained the Nov. 24 events when a Russian jet was shot down

Turkish PM reiterates right to defend airspace

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reiterated Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty when an aircraft threatens its airspace.

In remarks made on Bulgarian bTV network during his visit to Bulgaria on Wednesday, Davutoglu spoke about the downing of a Russian aircraft on Nov. 24 when it violated Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings.

"We did not decide to take down a Russian plane, our decision was to only protect our own airspace," he said.

"Our air forces warned the Russian aircraft 10 times to avoid Turkish airspace. All of them [the warnings are] available in the records of the telecommunications of NATO countries. There is nothing to hide," the premier said.

"Turkey has the right to protect its own airspace. We did not know that it was a Russian plane. Given instructions were to protect Turkey. We did not know what the purpose of the unidentified aircraft that exceeded our airspace was. Maybe it was meant to bomb our land," Davutoglu said.

He added that if there was a provocation, then that provocation had been made by violators of Turkish airspace.

He also asked others to see who in fact is provoking others.

"Where did this incident occur? The Russian border? [or] the border of Russia-Syria? or on the border of Russia and Turkey? in which border? Who is provoking who?"

He said also that one must not overlook the fact that Russians are not bombing ISIL, but civilians.

"Let’s grant Russia's claims that the Syrian regime invited them to support the war against terrorism, and therefore, since Russians are present there, they will carry out bomb attacks. But they are not bombing ISIL, they are bombing civilians. Ninety percent of the operation is against the civilians," he said.

He said that these civilians then come to Turkey as they escape the bombardment, from where they try to travel onward to Bulgaria and Europe. He asked Europe if they were ready to accept this. "Will Bulgaria accept this? Those people also go to Europe. Will Europe accept it?"

About allegations that Turkey was supposedly buying oil from the terrorist organization ISIL, Davutoglu said: "This is not true and the photos shown [by Russia] are fake."

The premier instead pointed out the links between ISIL and the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. "Those who want to see that need to go to Damascus. There are relations between ISIL and the Damascus regime. The oil trade is clearly visible. An investigation is needed into the oil source of the Syrian regime. Turkey has no relationship with any terrorist organization anywhere in the world and it never had such relations," Davutoglu said.

He added that ISIL had affected Turkey the most.

"ISIL is doing much greater harm to Turkey than any other country. Hundreds of people in Urfa, Suruc and Ankara have been killed by terrorist attacks carried out by ISIL. So, Russia or any other [country] cannot argue that there are a number of secret relations between Turkey and the terrorist organization. We are fighting against all forms of terrorism anywhere in the world," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2015, 09:14