Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the pilots, who shot down a Russian su-24 in November 2015, can be associated with Fethullah Fethullah Gulen — a man in Ankara believe the mastermind behind a failed military coup.
“We still do not know about the involvement of this event or these people. However, these pilots may be associated with PA (currently gülen lives in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, USA — RBC). Currently they are in custody, the final answer will give the court. It will be concluded whether they are involved in this group or not,” Erdogan said (quoted by Anadolu).
Yesterday Turkey has sent US an official request for extradition of Gulen. As stated by the Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yildirim, Ankara is ready to give Washington “a lot of evidence” of his involvement in the coup attempt.
Earlier, the Turkish authorities reported that the pilot of the Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian plane, was one of the participants in the coup attempt in Turkey, which occurred on the night of 16 July. According to the mayor of Ankara Melih Geschehe, it is the “parallel structure” within the Armed forces staged a rebellion, was responsible for the deterioration of relations with Russia.
24 Nov 2015 Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian su-24. The incident killed the pilot Oleg Peshkov. Ankara claimed that the Russian crew was warned about the violation of Turkish airspace, but Moscow denied it.
At the end of June 2016, Erdogan sent the President of Russia Vladimir Putin the letter in which has expressed “deep regret” over the incident and hope for the restoration of partnership relations with Russia.