ISTANBUL – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu condemned on Thursday a Kurdish leader’s criticism of Turkey’s decision to target a Russian jet over Syria last month.
Davutoğlu denounced the criticism by the co-head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, describing the latter’s stance as “treason”.
“They (Kurds) take sides with whoever Turkey is facing a crisis with. Demirtaş saying in Moscow that Turkey’s downing of the Russian jet was wrong is a total disgrace and treason,” Davutoğlu said.
“Our main duty is to raise our voice against Russian cruelty. Supporting Russia while it kills civilians in Syria is treason not only against this country but also against humanity,” he added.
On Wednesday, Demirtaş met with the Russian foreign minister in Moscow and criticized the Turkish government for shooting down the warplane.
“The crisis should not be allowed to hurt the Turkish and Russian people. The people of Turkey have no responsibility in the current crisis,” the HDP co-head said.
Responding to Davutoğlu’s accusations, Demirtaş said: “If they [the Turkish government] can state a single benefit for Turkey in the downing of the Russian jet, then I will apologize.”
“There could be crises between countries but we always favor that diplomatic channels be kept open and problems be solved through dialogue,” the Kurdish leader said.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
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