The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded that Turkey arrest the leader of an insurgent group of Syrian Turkmen, Alparslan Celik, and bring him to justice for the murder of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov, as reported by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, on the agency’s website.
In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Celik confessed to participating in the shooting of the pilot after he ejected from his Su-24 bomber that was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over the Syrian-Turkish border.
“It is surprising and creates much sorrow that one of the leading Turkish newspapers provided a platform for a murderer and terrorist to brag about crimes and spread national hatred for Russia and the Russian people,” Zakharova said in her comment.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was surprised that Ankara hasn’t responded to the publication which reports the participation of a Turkish citizen, Celik, in military actions in Syria.
“It’s time for Ankara to respond regarding the participation of Turkish citizens in military actions on the side of illegally armed groups in Syria. Perhaps Ankara would prefer to ignore this fact too?” Zakharova wrote.
On the 27th of December, Hurriyet published its interview with Alparslan Celik. In this interview he claimed that the Su-24 continuously bombed Turkish settlements for five minutes and that seeking revenge on the pilot was natural. "My conscience cannot be bothered by a person who threw bombs at Turkmen civilians every day," said Celik, referring to the deceased Russian pilot.
The Russian Su-24 crashed at the border between Syria and Turkey on the 24th of November after it was shot down by a Turkish F-16. The commander of the crew, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by rebel gunfire from the ground after he ejected. The plane's navigator, Konstantin Murahtin, survived, but a marine, Alexander Pozynich, was killed during the rescue operation.