MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Turkey’s political leaders had been encouraging the Islamisation of Turkish society, something he said was a problem, Russian agencies quoted him as saying.
Speaking a day after Turkey shot down one of Moscow’s jets, Putin said:
“The problem is not the tragedy we witnessed yesterday,” the TASS news agency quoted him as saying.
“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 Islamisation of their country.”
Putin also said that an S-300 air defence system would be sent to Russia’s air base in Syria, Interfax and other agencies reported. The Defence Ministry said earlier on Wednesday that Russia would send an S-400 system to the base.
In a separate statement to agencies, Russia’s Defence Ministry said that the second pilot of the downed SU-24 jet was safe and had returned to Russia’s air base in Syria.