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Family of killed Russian pilot rejects Turkish resort house as compensation

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This handout picture taken on November 30, 2015 and obtained from the Russian Defense Ministry's official website shows Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (4th R,) standing in front of the coffin of Russian pilot Lt Col Oleg Peshkov during a ceremony at the Chkalovsky military airport outside Moscow. (AFP)

The family of a Russian pilot killed by Turkey say they have rejected an offer by Turkish authorities for a house in a resort as compensation for his death.

“Nobody is preparing any petitions for Turkey with requests for compensation. Are we going to ask for some kind of compensation now? We are not even thinking or considering such a thing,” said Pavel Peshkov, brother of the deceased pilot, Oleg Peshkov.

“Even if they offer compensation, no one will accept it. This is not just humiliating, it's terrible,” Russia's Sputnik news agency quoted him as saying on Friday.

Memorial park in Turkey

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Russian society in Kemer, Nadezhda Pelit, said that Turkish authorities also wanted to open a park in memory of Oleg Peshkov in the seaside resort in the southern Antalya province.

“The idea to open such a park was put forward by Kemer Mayor Mustafa Gul simultaneously with the idea to give a house to the family of Oleg Peshkov. At a meeting of the city's civic organizations, he suggested to commemorate Peshkov with a stela, which will serve as a reminder of the tragedy and the crisis in Russian-Turkish relations that followed [the incident],” Pelit further said, adding that the monument would be funded by the mayor’s office.

Moscow-Ankara relations became strained last November after Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft with two pilots aboard, claiming the fighter jet had repeatedly violated Turkish airspace.

Ankara argued that the Russian plane strayed into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Russia, however, insisted the aircraft did not cross the border and accused Ankara of "planned provocation."

Moscow said the plane was brought down in Syrian airspace, where Russia has been conducting combat sorties against Takfiri terrorists since late September 2015 upon a request from the Damascus government.

Of the two pilots aboard the warplane, one was rescued with the help of the Syrian army, but the other was killed by militants fighting the Syrian government.

A combo taken from video shows a Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet crashing in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Syrian border on November 24, 2015. (Reuters)

Following the November 24 incident, Russia imposed a raft of sanctions against Ankara, including import restriction on Turkish foods, a ban on tourist travel to Turkey, an embargo on hiring Turkish citizens in Russia, and a ban on Turkish organizations' activities in Russia. Moscow also suspended all military deals with Ankara.

On Monday, the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin had received a letter from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he had apologized to his Russian counterpart over Ankara’s shooting down of the Russian jet.

On Wednesday, following a telephone conversation with Erdogan, Putin ordered the government to start the process of normalizing trade ties with Turkey, after seven months of diplomatic row between the two countries.

“I ask that the Russian government begins the process of normalizing general trade and economic ties with Turkey,” Putin said.

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