Turkish President Erdogan Warns Russia Not to ‘Play with Fire’

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Erodogan blasts Russia for their mistreatment of Turkish citizens inside Russia following the downing of the plane over their airspace.

reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned Moscow not to "play with fire" on Friday, citing reports Turkish businessmen had been detained in Russia, while Moscow responded with tighter visa regulations.

Turkey, which has long sought Assad's ouster, has extensive trade ties with Moscow, which could come under strain. Erdogan condemned reports that some Turkish businessmen had been detained for visa irregularities while attending a trade fair in Russia.

"It is playing with fire to go as far as mistreating our citizens who have gone to Russia," Erdogan told supporters during a speech in Bayburt, in northeast Turkey. "We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia... We don't want these relations to suffer harm in any way."

He said he may speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a climate summit in Paris next week. Putin has so far refused to contact Erdogan because Ankara does not want to apologize for the downing of the jet, a Putin aide said.