Turkey won't apologize to Russia over warplane downing - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Turkey won't apologize to Russia over warplane downing

(Turkish Military, via AP). Turkish and Russian military officers, rear, salute as a Turkish honour guard carry the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov into a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, No... (Turkish Military, via AP). Turkish and Russian military officers, rear, salute as a Turkish honour guard carry the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov into a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, No...
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the Turkish prime minister on Monday to discus... (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the Turkish prime minister on Monday to discus...
(Turkish Military via AP). In this image provided by the Turkish Military, Turkish honour guards stand after they placed the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov inside a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey,... (Turkish Military via AP). In this image provided by the Turkish Military, Turkish honour guards stand after they placed the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov inside a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey,...
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after addressing a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. NATO Secretary General Jens Stolt... (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after addressing a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. NATO Secretary General Jens Stolt...

By JAMEY KEATEN
Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) - Turkey won't apologize to Russia for shooting down a warplane operating over Syria, the Turkish prime minister said Monday, stressing that the military was doing its job defending the country's airspace.

Ahmet Davutoglu also said Turkey hopes Moscow will reconsider economic sanctions announced against Turkish interests following last week's incident. The Turkish resort town of Antalya is "like a second home" to many Russian holidaymakers, he said, but refused to yield on Turkish security.

"No Turkish prime minister or president will apologize ... because of doing our duty," Davutoglu told reporters after meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

"Protection of Turkish airspace, Turkish borders is a national duty, and our army did their job to protect this airspace. But if the Russian side wants to talk, and wants to prevent any future unintentional events like this, we are ready to talk."

Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian warplane on Nov. 24, sparking Cold War-style tensions between Russia and NATO, of which Turkey is a member. One of the Russian pilots was killed, while a second was rescued.

On Monday, the body of Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, the Russian pilot, was flown back to Russia following a military ceremony in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Turkey's military said.

The Russian air force said Monday that its Su-34 fighter-bombers in Syria were now armed with air-to-air missiles for defense. Air force spokesman Col. Igor Klimov said the missiles have a range of about 60 kilometers (35 miles), Russian news agencies reported.

Russia began airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30 that it says are focused on fighters of the Islamic State group. But some observers say Russia is targeting other rebel groups to bolster the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia insists that the plane that was shot down didn't intrude on Turkish airspace.

Douglas Lute, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said he saw American data which "corroborates Turkey's version of events. So the airplane was in Turkey, it was engaged in Turkey."

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called for sanctions against Turkey including bans on some Turkish goods and extensions on work contracts for Turks working in Russia. The measures also call for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.

___

Suzan Fraser contributed from Ankara, Turkey.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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