Turkey received on Sunday the body of the Russian pilot who was shot down over Turkish airspace on Tuesday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
The news came in a press conference held by Davutoglu Monday at Esenboga Airport in the capital, Ankara, before heading to Brussels to participate in the Turkish-European summit.
Davutoglu added that the body had been handed over to the Christian Orthodox clergy in the Turkish province of Hatay for ceremonial purposes, and will be later transported to Russia upon request.
The prime minister criticized the Russia’s recent statements which accused Turkey of intentionally targeting the Russian plane, describing these allegations as "invalid and illegal under international law, and only harm the ties of friendship and neighborliness between the two countries."
"If someone is responsible for the incident, it should be the party that has repeatedly violated Turkish airspace," Davutoglu said.
"Our armed forces carried out the instructions they received in the context of a legitimate and lawful position. Those instructions were not directed against a specific state," he added.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.