President Erdoğan says no one can ‘slander’ Turkey with ISIL oil sales allegations
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken aim at Moscow for “slandering” Ankara with “false accusations” over Turkey’s any involvement in illegal oil trade with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), hours after renewed claims were made by the Russian authorities.
“Nobody has the right to slander Turkey, especially by saying Turkey buys ISIL oil,” Erdoğan said during a speech at a university in the Qatari capital Doha yesterday. “Turkey has not lost its moral values to the extent of purchasing oil from a terror organization,” he added.
Erdoğan also repeated his previous vow to resign immediately from his post if the accusations were proven.
“In fact, those who use this slander should resign from their own seats [if they can’t back up their claims],” he said.
The Turkish president’s remarks came after a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry yesterday, claiming to have proof of Turkish involvement in ISIL’s alleged oil trade.
“Turkey is the main consumer of oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq, according to information we’ve received,” Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted as saying by Reuters, also amiming at Erdoğan’s relatives, failing to mention any names.
Russian officials also published a number of satellite images caliming to show trucks being loaded with ISIL oil and reportedly heading to Turkish territory, though the images fell short of providing visual evidence of such illegal trade.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department refuted accusations against Turkey, stating they do not have any evidence indicating Ankara has been collaborating with ISIL over the latter's oil trade.