Putin: Turkish leadership’s policy of encouraging ‘Islamization’ is a problem

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Turkey’s political leaders had been encouraging the ‘Islamization’ 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 ‘Islamization’ of their country.”


Putin also said that an S-300 air defense system would be sent to Russia’s air base in Syria, Interfax and other agencies reported. The Defense Ministry said earlier on Wednesday that Russia would send an S-400 system to the base.


In a separate statement to agencies, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that the second pilot of the downed SU-24 jet was safe and had returned to Russia’s air base in Syria.


On Tuesday, Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone about the need to de-escalate tensions with Russia after Turkey shot down the Russian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border, the White House said.


Obama expressed “US and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty,” the White House said in a statement.


“The leaders agreed on the importance of de-escalating the situation and pursuing arrangements to ensure that such incidents do not happen again,” the statement said.


Read More: Putin: Turkish leadership’s policy of encouraging ‘Islamization’ is a problem – Middle East – Jerusalem Post