28 June 2016
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has sent a condolence message to the family of the pilot of a Russian military jet killed last November when Turkish troops fired at his plane on the Turkey-Syria border .
When the incident occurred, there was no apology from Ankara and this angered Moscow.
The Russian Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area last November 24.
The plane crashed in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of the Syrian province of Latakia, killing the pilot.
In retaliation for Turkey’s refusal to apologise, Russia imposed trade sanctions and suspended Russian package tours to Turkey pending the time that Russia received an apology.
According to Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman Mr. Erdogan spoke of his deep regret for what happened and said he wanted to restore relations.
“The letter states, in particular, that Russia is a friend to Turkey and a strategic partner, with which the Turkish authorities would not wish to spoil relations,” he said.
Turkey is yet to comment on the Kremlin statement.
In its defense, Turkey said planes were warned 10 times within five minutes via an “emergency” channel and asked them to change direction.
The Russian defence ministry insisted that the aircraft remained within Syria’s borders throughout its mission and did not violate any of Turkey’s standing rule.