Russia should give up harassment of Turkish border: Deputy PM

Russia should give up harassment of Turkish border: Deputy PM

Russia should give up harassment of Turkish border: Deputy PM

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Russia should “immediately give up harassing” the Turkish border and step back if violations of airspace were mistakes, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 9.

Relations between Turkey and Russia should not be sacrificed for the sake of political interests in Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey could maintain its own border’s security, Kurtulmuş stated in reference to remarks by Russian authorities that their action also aimed to protect the Turkish border. 

He stressed two countries have good relations on trade. Foreign actors should intervene as little as possible in order to find settlement in Syria, the deputy prime minister said, noting that finding a solution in the mutual understanding of parties in Syria would also be better for the sake of region. 

Already many foreign actors have been intervening in Syria and Russia’s interference would not serve peace, he added. “We hope Russia will give up interfering in Syria in this way, preventing the Syrian crisis from getting more complicated,” he said. 

“Wherever there is Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL], that place becomes a market for the interference of everyone,” Kurtulmuş stated. 

Russian aircrafts violated Turkish airspace on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 close to the Syrian border, with Turkey summoning the Russian ambassador to Ankara twice to lodge complaints.

Turkey, a NATO member with the alliance’s second biggest army, scrambled two F-16 jets on Oct. 3 after a Russian aircraft crossed into its airspace over its southern province of Hatay.

Russia said Oct. 5 that one of its warplanes had briefly entered Turkish airspace during its Syrian raids during the weekend due to bad weather, adding that measures were being taken to avoid a repeat.