Turkish Prime Minister accused Thursday an opposition leader of betrayal after his comments that Turkey made a “mistake” downing the Russian aircraft.
“(Peoples Democratic Party) HDP co-chairman’s saying in Russia ‘downing of Russia’s aircraft by Turkey was a mistake’ is a complete disgrace and a complete betrayal,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, addressing Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization’s (KOSGEB) award ceremony in capital Ankara.
The prime minister was speaking about Selahattin Demirtas’ comments during his Russia visit. During his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday, the HDP co-chairman said: “We don’t find it appropriate that the public is having to pay for a mistake that the government made.”
Davutoglu said that in such a time “when Russian aircraft are bombing innocent Turkmen, innocent Arabs, innocents Kurds in Azez, Aleppo, Idlib, and Bayirbucak (Turkmen region in Syria), going there to express support for Russia without a second thought is clearly a betrayal to this nation.”
Tension between Ankara and Moscow remains high following Turkish F16s’ downing of a Russian SU-24 aircraft near the Turkish-Syrian border on Nov. 24.
After the incident, Russia imposed a range of unilateral sanctions against Ankara, including a ban on food imports.