Turkish national sentenced for killing Russian pilot

Alparslan Celik, who was accused of killing a Russian pilot after Turkey shot down a Russian bomber aircraft over Syria, was sentenced to five years in prison in Turkey. Celik personally commanded the shooting of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov. Celik was convicted for illegal possession of weapons, Turkish media reported.

Celik said, however, that he did not kill the pilot, but allegedly ordered militants not to shoot at Peshkov.

In November of 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber over the territory of Syria. The pilots managed to eject, but were attacked by Bozkurt militants. One of the pilots was rescued and brought to Russia's air base in Syria. Oleg Peshkov was killed as he was landing.

Originally, Turkish top officials claimed that they did not give an order to shoot down the Russian jet. It became known later, though, that it was Turkish former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who ordered to shoot down the Russian aircraft. The former Turkish prime minister noted, though, that his order was a general instruction for the defense of Turkish airspace, rather than an order to shoot down a specific aircraft.


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