AKP deputy ‘feels like downing another Russian jet’ after CSKA Moscow defeat
ANKARAFollowing the defeat of Fenerbahçe in European basketball’s premier club competition to Russian CSKA Moscow on May 15, a deputy from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said it makes one “feel like downing another Russian plane.”
“It makes a person want to down another Russian plane,” AKP Gaziantep deputy Şamil Tayyar tweeted after the Euroleague final, referring to the incident when Turkey downed a Russian SU-24 jet in November 2015 for violating its airspace on the border with Syria.
As his tweet drew angry reactions from social media users, Tayyar said it was just a “joke” and urged people to calm down. He also said he actually found it wrong to shoot down the Russian jet and said he would support making the same mistake again.
Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Ankara criticized Tayyar’s remarks, saying in a tweet that “to their surprise, it was a joke.”
Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy chair of Russia’s upper house Committee on Security and Defense, also said Russia “would not remain silent to such discourse,” adding that the Foreign Ministry and civil society organizations would respond and even claiming that Tayyar had “mental problems.”
Diplomatic relations between Ankara and Moscow, already strained over the war in neighboring Syria, deteriorated further after the downing of the jet by the Turkish armed forces on Nov. 24.