Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has flatly refused to apologise for the downing of a Russian fighter jet, saying the aircraft was clearly violating Turkish airspace near the Syrian border.
CNN reports that Erdogan asserted that the apology needed to come from the Russian Side who had violated their airspace and that the Turkish pilots and armed forces had simply fulfilled their responsibilities.
"I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us. Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to ... violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence. If the same violation occurs today, Turkey has to react the same way," Erdogan said exclusively to CNN.
Turkey has been maintaining that it repeatedly warned the Russian warplane and since their appeals had been ignored, they had to shoot the jet down as it entered Turkish airspace.
However, Russian President Vladmir Puting has furiously asserted that Turkey knew the nationality and the trajectory of the jet before shooting it down and that there had not been any warnings via radio or visually.