Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to “play with fire”

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warns Russia not to “play with fire” in a dispute over the downing of a Russian jet. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to “play with fire”


STORY: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday (November 27) warned Russia not to “play with fire” in a dispute over the downing of a Russian warplane this week, but added he did not want to harm relations with Moscow.

“Yes, it is playing with fire to attack the Syrian opposition which has international legitimacy under the pretext of fighting against Daesh,” Erdogan told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt, referring to Islamic State by an Arabic acronym.

“The whole world admits Turkey is right in this incident. So, it is playing with fire to use this incident, as an excuse to make unacceptable accusations against us and go as far as mistreating our citizens who have gone to Russia to participate in a (trade) fair,” he added.

Relations between the former Cold War antagonists have hit a recent nadir after Turkey shot down the jet near the Syrian border, with Moscow ramping up air strikes in the area, where rebel Syria Turkmens are fighting Syrian government forces.

“Irresponsibly striking trucks which are in the region for commercial activities or humanitarian aid is playing with fire. We sincerely recommend Russia not to play with fire,” Erdogan said, adding he was ready to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at next week’s climate summit in Paris.

Russia threatened economic retaliation against Turkey on Thursday (November 26) and said it was still awaiting a reasonable explanation for the shooting down of its warplane, but Turkey dismissed the threats as “emotional” and “unfitting.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to contact Erdogan because Ankara does not want to apologise for the downing of a Russian warplane, Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s aide, said on Friday.

The shooting down of the jet by the Turkish air force on Tuesday (November 24) was one of the most serious clashes between a NATO member and Russia, and further complicated international efforts to battle Islamic State militants.

Tags : fire, with, play, russia, warns, Erdogan, Turkeys

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