MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Turkey’s political leaders had been encouraging the Islamisation 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 Islamisation 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.
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn