Turkey’s Prime Minister Davutoğlu Criticizes Putin’s Sanctions
Tukey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized Russian economic sanctions on Turkey after the downing of a Russian fighter jet over the Syrian border last week, saying his priority was to defuse the tension and prevent similar incidents.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday announced measures against Turkey including the suspension of visa-free travel, halting tours to Turkey and a ban on the hiring of Turkish nationals.
“It’s not just Turkey that has economic interests, Russia too has economic interests in relation to Turkey. Turkey expects Russian officials to act in a cool-headed manner” Davutoğlu said.
The downing of the jet by a Turkish F-16 warplane has overshadowed efforts to mount a united campaign against Islamic State militants after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. Putin described the incident as a stab in the back by Turkey, which has criticized Russia’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.
Davutoğlu, speaking before traveling to Brussels for talks with the European Union, said Turkey’s priority was to keep open communications with Russia and to coordinate operations in Syria. The downing of the jet “clearly showed that air operations in same airspace by two separate coalitions of countries can always lead to similar incidents,” he said.