Putin Doubts Turkey Can Ensure Tourists’ Safety
Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced doubts whether the Turkish authorities are able to guarantee safety of tourists visiting Turkey.
"I’m sure that the Turkish leaders will aim to ensure safety of tourists, including those from Russia, because this is a significant source of income for the Turkish budget,” Putin said in his annual televised phone-in on Thursday.
“They will try but the question remains whether they can do it," Putin said during his Q&A live broadcast.
He also warned Russians that there is effectively a civil war going on in southern Turkey
"Practically, a civil war is taking place in the south, we try to not notice it, the international community also somehow does not notice it, but it is a fact, and with use of heavy weapons, tanks, artillery. With terrorist attacks happening almost every week in Turkey, where is the guarantee that nothing will happen to our tourists?", Putin asked.
The Russian president also said that the Turkish leadership was cooperating with extremists in the country more than fighting them.
“In our point of view, the current Turkish leadership does not fight radicals as much as it cooperates with them," Putin said.
Relations between Moscow and Ankara soured last year after a Turkish Air Force jet downed a Russian warplane close to Turkey’s border with Syria on November 24. Moscow advised against all charter flights from Russia to Turkey the next month.
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