Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
16th July, 2016
One of the participants of the coup in Turkey was the pilot who shot down a Russian Su-24 in November 2015, said the mayor of Ankara Melih Gökçek. According to him, the pilot was a friend of the preacher Fethullah Gulen.
The government in Ankara calls the organisation a “parallel state”. Previously, President Erdogan has accused Gulen’s supporters of an insurrection. The organization, based in the United States, rejected these accusations, and Gülen personally condemned the coup.
“It is a “parallel state” that has ruined our relationship with Russia. It was an incident (jet) that involved one of the pilots of this structure, 100%. He was one of the participants in the coup. To this day we did say it, and kept it to ourselves. But I, Melih Gokcek, said that our relations with Russia have been spoiled by these villains,” said the mayor to the TV channel CNN Turk.
He added that the “parallel state” intended to isolate Turkey in the international arena. “Yesterday I had a visitor from a Russian adviser to Putin. He is of the same opinion,” said Gökçek, without specifying the name of the advisor.
A Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian aircraft in the skies over Turkey in late November 2015. The Russian President called it a “stab in the back” by the accomplices of terrorists, after which Moscow imposed a number of economic constraints on Turkey. In late June, President Erdogan appealed to Vladimir Putin with a message in which he apologized and offered his condolences, after which Putin announced the beginning of normalization of relations with Ankara.