11:07 GMT11 August 2020
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    According to the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the very fact that pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas criticized the downing of Russian Su-24 was "shameful and treacherous."

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas was "treacherous" to criticize Turkey for downing a Russian jet over Syria, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.

    Demirtas called the November 24 downing of Russia’s Su-24 several miles south of the Turkish border "erroneous" in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday.

    "The fact that he called the decision to shoot down the plane wrong is shameful and treacherous," Davutoglu said at a business convention in Ankara. "We helped our [Kurdish] brothers in Kobani [Syria], our same duty is to protect Turkmens in Bayir-Bucak."

    Davutoglu previously criticized the opposition politician’s Russia visit for cooperating "with those whom Turkey experiences problems with."

    Russian-Turkish ties deteriorated following the downing of the Russian aircraft by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria last month. Ankara said it had fired an air-to-air missile in response to a violation of Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have both said that the Su-24 never crossed Turkish airspace.

    Russia has imposed a number of economic measures on Turkey in response to the incident President Vladimir Putin characterized as a "stab in the back." The measures, including bans or restrictions on the activities of Turkish organizations in Russia and curbs on Turkish citizens' employment in Russian firms, take effect on January 1.


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