I have no fear of the Russians, says alleged killer of Russian pilot

I have no fear of the Russians, says alleged killer of Russian pilot

Haluk Turgut / KOCAELİ – Doğan News Agency
I have no fear of the Russians, says alleged killer of Russian pilot Alparslan Çelik, the alleged killer of Oleg Peshkov, the pilot of the Russian jet downed by Turkey on Nov. 24, 2015 according to Moscow, has said he has “no fear” of the Russians, speaking to Doğan News Agency a day after he was seen attending a funeral in Istanbul.

Commenting on reports that he was on the hit-list of Russia’s intelligence agency, Çelik said he “only has faith in God.”

“When I went to the Turkmen Mountain about two-and-a-half years ago, I went with faith in God. It was He who gave our soul and it is He who takes it away. We are fighting there with this faith. Everyone’s day of death is already decided and mine is too ... So I definitely do not have such fear. We will continue our struggle until our last soldier, our last breath and our last drop of blood,” he said.

Çelik also spoke about the day when Turkish F-16s shot down the Russian SU-24 warplane near the Syrian border, prompting a diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Moscow.

“It was the day when Kızıldağ [mountain] had just fallen [to the Syrian regime, supported by Russia]. It was Friday and we took action along with the morning prayers. We conducted an operation to retake Kızıldağ and as we were in the middle of the operation Russian warplanes came and bombed our operation line. The Russian warplane was shot down by Turkish F-16s, our brave pilots, while returning from the Turkish side,” he said.

While praising the downing, Çelik complained about Turkey’s “insufficient support” to Turkmens in the region, demanding more “technological and arms-based support.” 

“We do not have armed power to respond to their technological weapons. Of course, Turkey provides weapons that work in hand-to-hand struggle, but we don’t have air defense systems and technological infrastructure. We only have an infrastructure that we built by our own means. What we want from the Turkish Republic is for it to give air defense weapons and to create better technological infrastructure for us,” he said.

Regarding the latest situation in the region, Çelik said Russia had “taken almost all villages in the Bayırbucak area” but Turkey had “remained silent” on Russian bombardments.

“Today, many spots in Bayırbucak have been evacuated under Russian bombardment and control of almost all our villages has passed to the Russians ... Right now all villages, except border villages, have passed over to the control of the regime. Our border villages are under heavy bombardment. Around 15,000 people still live in these border villages,” he said. 

Çelik also vowed that local Turkmens would “never allow” the creation of a Kurdish corridor in northern Syria, claiming that both Russia and Germany had provided arms for the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which he called a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria.

“Both Europe and U.S. support the creation of a Kurdish corridor but we will say to our last breath that the Turkmen Mountain is the Gallipoli of the Mediterranean. We will never allow the Kurdish corridor planned by the PYD and the PKK as long as we maintain our existence there,” Çelik said.