Ankara prepares to hand over to Moscow body of Russian pilot
Updated: 2015-11-29 19:05
ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that the body of the Russian pilot was brought to Turkey, and would be handed over to Russia.
A Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet lands at the Hmeymim air base near Latakia, Syria, in this handout photograph released by Russia's Defence Ministry November 7, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
The body of the pilot, who was downed by two Turkish F-16s on Tuesday would be prepared in accordance with Orthodox tradition before being handed over to Russia, Davutoglu said in Ankara Esenboga Airport before his departure for the EU-Turkey Summit.
The prime minister also said that with different coalitions operating in Syria with differing objectives, similar incidents, like the downing of the Russian jet, could happen unless there was information sharing and coordination.
In a statement in Balikesir province in western Turkey on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "We feel really saddened about this incident. We would not like such a thing to happen, we would not want it but unfortunately it did. I wish such a thing will not happen again."
"What we tell Russia is 'Let's talk about this issue within its boundaries and let's settle it. Let's not make others happy by hurting our relationship," he said, adding that he believed it would be an opportunity to repair their relations at the climate change summit in Paris on Monday.
Erdogan had previously proposed to have a meeting on the sidelines of the summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but was rejected by the Kremlin.
Turkey-Russia relations have plummeted after Turkey shot down Russia's war jet earlier last week, claiming that the Russian Su-24 warplane had violated its air space, while Russia insists that its warplane was flying in Syria's airspace when it was downed.
On Saturday, Putin signed a decree imposing economic sanctions against Turkey. According to the decree, which became effective immediately on the date of publication, Turkish companies of transportation shall be restricted in their operations in Russian territories, with Turkish ships and boats being banned from staying at or navigating across Russian ports, while import of certain goods from Turkey will be halted.
Russia also officially suspended its visa-free travel regime with Turkey, except Turkish diplomats and their dependents and those with temporary permits of residence.
Meanwhile, Moscow has also intensified its air strikes against targets in several rebel-held areas in Syria near the Turkish borders.