05:58 GMT +3 hours24 July 2016
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Never Too Late: Turkish General Apologizes to Russia for Su-24 Downing

© Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
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After Turkish poet Haydar Hussein and students in Istanbul expressed their regret in connection with the downed Russian Su-24 aircraft and the soured Russian-Turkish relations, the retired Turkish general spoke to Sputnik about the future of Russian-Turkish relations as he sees them.

Erdoğan Karakuş, a Chairman of the Turkish Union of retired officers and a Lieutenant-General of the Turkish Air Force, said in an interview with Sputnik, “I hope that soon the incident of the shot down Russian aircraft will be history and the Russian-Turkish relations will be normalized.”

“We are very sorry about what has happened. We have always sought to be friendly with Russia, to maintain good neighborly relations and to try and avoid all possible misunderstandings.”

Karakuş further said that the shooting down of the Russian aircraft was a mistake and it should not have happened. “I want you to know that we are deeply sorry for what has happened and we hope for a speedy recovery and strengthening of our relations.”

The normalization of the Russian-Turkish relations is in the interest of the Turkish people and Russian society, the retired general said.

“Russians are our neighbors, our brothers. We have to live together in peace and harmony. There is no other way. I very much hope that the current cold relations will very soon go into the past. I do not like to say it, but we should recognize that sometimes people's opinion on a particular issue can be radically different from the position of their government. It is obvious that the Turkish people are in favor of normalization of the Russian-Turkish relations.”

The retired general further said that his son lives in Antalya. “With Russians living there, he has developed a strong friendship. Recently, they again held an event, where they discussed the current state of the Russian-Turkish contacts. I sincerely hope for the earliest possible normalization.”

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general, aircraft, relations, Su-24, Turkey
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  • nshahhsh
    Feeling the pain already..? It's easy to convey/say sorry.. but how sincerely is that apologies.. show that you're sincere by doing the right thing and take steps to stopped your government's meddling your neighbors.. Talk is cheap...
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
    Thank you but no thank you once they have deeply felt the economic loss they apologize? Too late!
  • slimyfox
    That general is speaking the truth but his words have no meaning and I doubt that he sees it differently than as necessity to protect Erdogan and current government and try to apeal on Russian nation to see the "truth".

    Well that is short of everything, as he did not condemn Turkish government, he did not call Turkish public to resist Erdogan gangsters and to overthrow them. In his words were not seen any of elements that Russia demanded. He still treats Erdogan and his criminal pigs as something exempt, as something that did not have neither influence nor say. Basically his words are garbage as is his biggest pig Erdogan.
  • jas
    A mistake as in accident or a mistake as in failed strategy, that it didn't have the desired effect?
  • jasin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
    Jet fuel can't melt steel beams, Yeah, Sorry that they have negative consequences for what they did.
  • dvdgrg09
    A retired dogcatcher said he felt exactly the same way as the retired general.
  • jdoza
    This indirect apology by a retired Turkish official is all about Turkey's paranoia about Russia supporting the Syrian Kurds, nothing more.
  • goldcamshaft
    This backdoor attempt to steal a forbidden kiss is not good enough! Good intentions, we hope. It is alleged that the prime minister of that muslim dominated middle-eastern country, which will never be fully accepted into the eu, and which is clearly the control valve operator for the trafficing of terrorists to europe and its eastern neighbours, proudly and brazenly declared that he gave the orders to shoot down the expensive aircraft. He ostentatiously took global credit for that action. Strongman! Yes? That nonentity suddenly appeared at the forefront of news bulletins. He became recognized globally. However, as a big fool.
    He now, with Erdogan and the government have to meet with Russian leaders and apologise and document it, and thereafter promulgate their sincere apologies to Russia, through all media, directly to President Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and foreign minister Lavrov, the families who suffered losses and to the rest of the world, pay remunerations to,, the families and all their expenses ($6.6 billion to each of them), Russia's losses, in the billions, and give up the part of Cyprus that they are holding hostage, recognise Syria as a sovereign nation and treat it with respect, apologise to President Assad and do Haj every year for the rest of their lives in the new SYRIAN HAJ.
    They should not use tanks to travel to the Syrian Haj.
  • Panagiotis Brd
    More useless moves . ''Russians are our neighbors, our brothers. We have to live together in peace and harmony'' Well yeah we know how you live with your neighbors, you invade them, then you look gentlemen.
  • Korz53
    «Apologizes to Russia «? That is nice: but words can be easy; Prove the words by a hanging.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
    Jet fuel can't melt steel beams,

    Where I live I would be put in prison if I 'killed some one by mistake' and if the 'mistake' was premeditated as it was in Turkey the prison sentence would be a long one.

    So, in essence, whomsoever ordered the arming and shoot down of the Russian aircraft that was no threat whatsoever to Turkish property on Turkish soil needs to be prosecuted and not in an Erdogan 'show trial'.
  • FlorianGeyerin reply togoldcamshaft(Show commentHide comment)
    goldcamshaft,

    I would also add that Turkey should pay substantial damages to rebuild Syria, as Turkey is still supporting the terrorist gangs. Pay pensions to all the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, Iranian and other Assad allies and their casualties, including families of the deceased .
    Rather like Germany is having to do for Israel !
    So there is a precedent in International Law.
  • Athanasios
    I could tell you something about the Turkish nature, but I would be violating the rules of proper conduct.
  • michael
    maybe an apology is far too late?
  • michaelin reply toAthanasios(Show commentHide comment)
    Athanasios, we just have to see their public actions and the rest will be known...:)
  • innocappuccinno
    The road of the nation is long. But Turkey must reform, evolve. And ISIS, Al Nushra, Daesh, Taliban, these are not reform, nor evolution.
  • Mr. Blair M. Phillips
    Erdoğan Karakuş, a Chairman of the Turkish Union of retired officers and a Lieutenant-General of the Turkish Air Force, said in an interview with Sputnik, “I hope that soon the incident of the shot down Russian aircraft will be history and the Russian-Turkish relations will be normalized.”
    Let's start with a honest and sincere apology to the wife and family of the deceased pilot...and then we'll go from there.
  • Pentagonisabeast
    Retired ex-general apologising means nothing.You wouldn't be talking common sense if you're still the General.
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