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Antalya ex-mayor: Russian-Turkish crisis may be resolved through international court

December 01, 2015, 9:18 UTC+3 ANKARA
Turkey could lose over $20 billion per year due to Russia’s sanctions
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ANKARA, December 1. /TASS/. The crisis in relations between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey may be resolved through an international court, ex-mayor of Antalya Mustafa Akaydin told TASS on Tuesday.

"The presidents of the two countries should be guided by cold reason. What if they think about turning to an international court," said Akaydin, an MP from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People's Party.

Turkey could lose over $20 billion per year due to Russia’s sanctions. This figure includes the losses of Antalya, a popular travel destination for Russian tourists, which may reach some $6 billion, the politician said.

Some 40,000 Russians live in Antalya on a permanent basis. "All of them are our guests. I can assure you that there is no and can be no tension between the Russian citizens and the residents of Antalya," he said.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

On November 28, Putin signed a decree on a provisional ban on employing Turkish citizens in Russia as of January 1, 2016. The same decree suspends visa-free traveling between the two countries and imposes restrictions on the imports of certain commodities from Turkey.

Turkey has started preparing retaliatory measures against Russia. A crisis commission led by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek has been tasked with the effort.

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