Bahçeli asks gov’t to demand accounting for soldiers killed in Russian strike

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Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devet Bahçeli has called on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to demand an accounting for three Turkish soldiers who were mistakenly killed in a Russian airstrike in Syria’s al-Bab region last week.

According to a statement released by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) last Thursday, a Russian warplane accidentally hit a building occupied by Turkish soldiers in northern Syria, killing three soldiers and wounding 11.

After the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to express his condolences, the same statement said.

Speaking at a party rally in the central province of Konya on Sunday, Bahçeli recalled that a crisis erupted between Turkey and Russia when Turkey downed a Russian jet for violating Turkish airspace in November 2015 and that Russia was outraged by it.

“Now, Russia is killing our soldiers and it just says, ‘pardon.’ This is wrong and shameful. Russians ignore the principles of law. … An accounting must definitely be sought for our martyrs, ” he said.

In the meantime, when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was asked to comment on Bahçeli’s remarks during a news conference on Sunday, he said he, the Turkish chief of general staff and their Russian counterparts made the necessary statements about the incident and that others’ statements on the issue should just be ignored.

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