Europe

Turkey-Russia row: A brief history of presidential war of words

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Vladimir Putin Image copyright AP/Reuters

The shooting down by Turkey of a Russian war plane on its border with Syria last week has led to an almost daily war of words between the nations' leaders.

Russia has demanded an apology but Turkey has repeatedly defended its actions.

The Russian Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area on 24 November.

Turkey says the plane was repeatedly warned for violating Turkish airspace. Russia says there was no violation and no warnings.


Russia's first response: 'A stab in the back'

  • "This goes beyond the normal struggle against terrorism. This was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists" - Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin insists the plane was not over Turkish territory and was operating in the mountains of northern Syria, and warns of "serious consequences".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey's actions are "fully in line with Turkey's rules of engagement" and that "everyone should respect the right of Turkey to defend its borders".


Attacks broaden: 'You are an oppressor'

Mr Erdogan focuses on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

  • "We should be honest here. Supporting someone who is practising state terror... if you confirm, if you approve violence or oppression you are [an] oppressor."

Mr Putin also broadens the line of attack.

  • "The problem is not the tragedy we witnessed yesterday. The problem is much deeper. We observe... that the current Turkish leadership over a significant number of years has been pursuing a deliberate policy of supporting the Islamicisation of their country."

How Putin acts in a crisis


Putin demands apology: 'Dead end'

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Media captionPresident Vladimir Putin said it was ''not possible'' the downed plane could not have been identified as a Russian jet

Mr Putin insists it was "impossible" for Turkey not to have known it was shooting at a Russian plane.

  • "One gets the impression that the Turkish leadership is deliberately driving Russian-Turkish relations into a dead end."

He says Russia had not received "a clear apology" from Turkish leaders, nor any offer of compensation or promise to "punish the criminals".

A defiant Mr Erdogan says his country does not need to apologise for violations of its airspace. However, he does appear more conciliatory.

  • "If we had known it was a Russian plane, maybe we would have warned it differently."

The downing of the plane: What we know


Attack and conciliation: 'Playing with fire'

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Media captionTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "It is playing with fire to attack the Syrian opposition"
  • "[Russia is] playing with fire to attack the Syrian opposition, who have international legitimacy, under the pretext of fighting against Daesh [another name for IS]".

Mr Erdogan accuses Russia of using the downing of the jet "as an excuse to make unacceptable accusations against us", and accuses Russians of "mistreating" Turkish citizens who were in the country for a trade fair.

However, he again sounds a note of conciliation, suggesting a meeting with Mr Putin at the upcoming Paris climate summit.

  • [We want] to bring the issue to a reasonable point. We are disturbed that the issue has been escalated."

Sanctions: 'Confrontation will not bring happiness'

President Putin signs a decree imposing sanctions on Turkey.

President Erdogan says he is "saddened" by the downing of the plane but does not use the word sorry.

  • "We wish it hadn't happened, but it happened. I hope something like this doesn't happen again. Confrontation will not bring anyone happiness. As much as Russia is important for Turkey, Turkey is important for Russia."

The matter of IS oil: 'Where is the proof?'

Mr Putin rejects a request from Mr Erdogan for a meeting at the Paris summit and launches into another attack.

  • "Our pilots write on their bombs: 'For ours!' and 'For Paris!' And the Turkish air force shoot down our bomber! What kind of broad coalition we can talk about then?"

He says "we're all sorry" about the state of Russia's relations with Turkey now. "I myself did a great deal to build those relations over a long period."

  • "We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory. We have received additional information confirming that oil from IS-controlled deposits flows into Turkey on an industrial scale."

The allegation infuriates Mr Erdogan, who threatens to resign if Turkish government involvement is such a scheme is proven.

  • "We are acting with patience. It is not positive for the two countries which have reached a position which could be regarded as a strategic partnership to make emotional statements. You should put your documents on the table if you have any. If you allege something you should prove it. I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proven, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office."