PM says Turkey cannot be 'brought to its knees' by Russia

2015-12-04 14:14
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. (Halil Sagirkaya, AFP)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. (Halil Sagirkaya, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - Turkey's prime minister struck a defiant tone on Friday in his nation's growing spat with Russia, declaring that his country cannot be "brought to its knees" by Russian economic sanctions imposed in response to Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane.

In a speech during a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu again defended Turkey's action and said Turkey won't apologize for defending its borders.

Davutoglu insisted Turkey did not know the nationality of the plane it downed inside Turkish air space.

He suggested for the first time, however, that the plane was brought down because Turkey could not "morally" allow the plane to trespass on Turkish territory before bombing areas in Syria where ethnic Turkish populations live.

"No one can blame Turkey, no one can expect an apology from Turkey," Davutoglu said in the speech, which was televised on Turkish television. "We would not apologise for defending our borders."

"Those who believe that economic sanctions against an honorable nation like Turkey can bring it to its knees will be mistaken," Davutoglu said.

Russian marine

Turkey insists the plane violated its airspace despite repeated warnings. The shoot-down, the first time a Nato country has downed a Russian plane in more than half a century, sparked a bitter falling out between the two nations, which had developed robust economic ties.

Russia has retaliated by deploying long-range air defense missile systems to its base in Syria, 50km south of the border with Turkey. It also slammed an array of economic sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on imports of fruit and vegetables and the sales of tourism packages. Russia also scrapped talks with Turkey on building a pipeline to export Russian natural gas to Europe.

Moscow says its warplanes have been targeting terrorist groups near Syria's border with Turkey, while Ankara says the Russian airstrikes have been aimed at moderate militant groups made of ethnic Turks who oppose Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. The militants shot and killed the downed plane's pilot while he was descending on parachute and also killed a Russian marine involved in rescuing the plane's co-pilot.

"Neither our conscience, nor our history, nor our morals could have allowed [the plane] to bomb innocent people by violating [our border]," Davutoglu said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Turkey of a "treacherous war crime" and has vowed to make Turkey "feel sorry" for its actions.

Davutoglu said the sanctions would be detrimental to both sides. He again urged Russia to be open to dialogue so the two countries which had enjoyed warm ties until last week's incident can resolve the issue diplomatically.

Read more on:    turkey  |  russia  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.