Turkey’s prime minister says Russian accusations that Turkey is profiting from oil trade with Islamic State militants are reminiscent of “lies” produced by the “Cold War-era Soviet propaganda machine.”
Ahmet Davutoglu’s comments Thursday before departing for Azerbaijan were in response to Russian military claim that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family had personally profited from the trade, signaling that Russia-Turkey tensions over Turkey’s downing of a Russian plane last week would escalate.
Davutoglu said: “No one believes the lies of the Soviet propaganda machine.”
The Turkish premier said Turkey aimed to increase energy cooperation with Azerbaijan but stressed these efforts were independent of the spat with Russia.
Davutoglu added that Russian operations in Syria were hampering efforts to clear Turkey’s border of IS militants.