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Russia demands Turkey take measures to capture militant who shot dead Russian pilot

Russia demands that Turkey take measures to capture Turkish national Alparslan Celik, who shot dead the pilot in command of the crew of the Sukhoi Su-24 bomber downed by Turkey's Air Force above Syria on November 24, 2015, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said in a statement Wednesday.

"We are demanding that the Turkish authorities immediately take measures to catch Celik and his accomplices and bring them to criminal account for the murder of the Russian pilot as well as participation in hostilities on the side of illegal armed units on the territory of a foreign state," Zakharova said.

The Russian ministry spokeswoman's speech was caused by an "exclusive" interview with Celik published on December 27 in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, in which he openly admits that he directly took part in the murder of the Russian pilot and does not repent. The publication says the Turkish militant has fought in Syria for two years on the side of an illegal armed unit.

"The fact that a leading Turkish central newspaper actually provided the floor to a murderer and terrorist for boasting of the crime he committed and distribution of nationalistic ideology, which is full of hatred toward Russia and the Russian people, causes surprise and indignation," Zakharova said.

"It is indicative that no comments on the interview have been received from the Turkish authorities yet," the comment said.

"We demand that the Turkish leadership give an assessment to the actions and statements of their country's national who confessed to committing an international crime, which is the murder of an Air Force pilot of a foreign state," the document said.

"It's time to say what the position of official Ankara is regarding participation of Turkish nationals in hostilities on the side of extremist illegal armed formations on the territory of a neighboring state," it said. "Or will it prefer to turn a blind eye to that as well?".

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Dec15]

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