22:29 GMT21 January 2021
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    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday criticized the leadership of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP) for intending to visit Moscow.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — On Sunday, the HDP co-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, announced plans to visit Moscow on Wednesday to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    "Turkey is a free country, everyone can go wherever they want and meet whoever they like, there are no problems with that. But why didn't they go two months ago, a year ago?.. Instead of moving together with the Turkish people, they prefer to establish cooperation with someone we have problems with," Davutoglu said at parliamentary session of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara.

    Earlier, Demirtas said he would discuss the issue of Turkish businesspeople and students who were affected by the tension in Russia-Turkey relations with Lavrov.

    Relations between the two countries deteriorated after a Russian Su-24 aircraft was brought down by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter on November 24 over Syria. Ankara claimed that the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace, but Russian and Syrian defense officials said that the Su-24 was illegally downed over Syria.

    On November 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to boost national security and introduce economic measures against Turkey, aimed at limiting cooperation with the country. The measures, effective from January 1, 2016, include restrictions on Turkish businesses operating in Russia, and prohibit Russian employers from hiring Turkish citizens.


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