Not Charging Su-24 Pilot's Killer 'Bad' for Turkey-Russia Reconciliation

Turkey’s decision not to charge Alparslan Celik, the suspected killer of a Russian pilot of the Su-24 fighter jet downed by the Turkish Air Force over Syria, indicates that Ankara’s relations with Moscow will remain sour in foreseeable future, according to a report by the US private intelligence firm Stratfor on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Turkish prosecutor’s office decided not to charge Celik citing lack of evidence.

"Turkey's decision to withdraw this political gift to Russia demonstrates a hardened stance that will make reconciliation between the countries unlikely anytime soon," the report stated.

Alparslan Celik - Sputnik International
Suspected Turkish Killer of Russian Pilot to Walk Away Scot-Free
On November 24, 2015, a Turkish F-16 fighter shot down the Russian Su-24 combat jet over Syria, which fell 2.5 miles from the Turkish border. The crew of the plane ejected and one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by ground fire, while the second pilot survived and was later rescued.

Celik was arrested alongside 13 others in the Turkish city of Izmir in early April on charges of illegal gun possession. The suspect previously said he did not shoot at Peshkov, but had accepted the responsibility for the killing as a commander of a militant group.

Celik insisted he had repeatedly ordered his men to take the Russian pilot prisoner, and not to shoot at him.

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