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Erdogan says ready to resign if claims about Turkey's buying oil from IS are confirmed

November 30, 2015, 22:12 UTC+3

Vladimir Putin earlier noted that Russia has grounds to suspect that the Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces was downed to secure illegal oil deliveries from Syria to Turkey

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian president's press service

ANKARA, November 30. /TASS/. Accusations of purchasing oil from the Islamic State terrorist grouping made against Turkey are immoral, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Monday.

Turkey is not so dishonest that it could buy oil from terrorists, Erdogan said, adding that if testimonies to such purchases are found he will quit the presidential office.

"If evidence of this kind is found, let those who find it present it," Erdogan said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier noted that Russia has grounds to suspect that the Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces was downed to secure illegal oil deliveries from Syria to Turkey.

Answering a question on whether Moscow wants to form a broad anti-terrorist coalition, Putin said: "We always supported this." "However, this cannot be done while someone continues to use several terrorist organizations to reach their immediate goals," he added.

The Russian president stressed that financial support to terrorists in Syria continues. "We have recently received additional reports that confirm that that oil from ISIL-controlled (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization) territories is delivered to the territory of Turkey on an industrial scale," Putin noted.

"We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers," he said.

"Defending Turkmen is just a pretext," Putin noted.

Syria FM says US should study rumors Erdogan’s son is involved in oil trade with IS

 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem last week suggested that US Secretary of State John Kerry should check out reports on the involvement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son in illegal oil trade with the Islamic State.

"I’d like to mention rumors that Erdogan’s son could be involved in illegal oil trade with the IS, although there are no proofs. If I was in Kerry’s place, I’d make an attempt to shed light on these reports," Muallem said commenting on Kerry’s statements that Damascus was buying oil from terrorists.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also touched upon the topic.

According to the Russian minister, the United States could not have been unaware of the scale of the Islamic States’ oil industry but preferred to spare it.

"Everything is a matter of practice. Let us operate with facts. There have been many reports that god knows who is living off the oil wells illegally seized by the Islamic State," Lavrov said.

"When our aviation started flying in the Syrian airspace at the request of (Syrian president) Bashar al-Assad, we saw the whole picture of that illegal business from above. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about that on several occasions, including yesterday’s news conference and the G20 summit in Antalya where he had shown space and aerial images - very eloquent and very convincing - to his colleagues," the Russian foreign minister went on to say.

"The US-led coalition started flying over Iraq and Syria, without the Syrian government’s consent by the way, more than a year before the Russian military operation. I am convinced that they saw all that but did not do anything for some unknown reason. Russian warplanes started bombing that criminal industry when they began operation in that area," Lavrov said.

"Of course, it’s certainly not a coincidence that our Turkish neighbours grew more and more nervous after that," the Russian foreign minister said.

According to Lavrov, the arrest of two Russian journalists for a story about illegal arms supplies from the Turkish territory to the Islamic State speaks of how carefully they (Turkey) protect information about their underground oil deals.

"So my answer is very simple: if the United States is so much concerned with the fact that god knows who is benefiting from the illegal oil business, the illegal oil field should stop functioning.

Lavrov believes that the US-led coalition ought to have started destroying that business straight from start.

"The US coalition and the Americans themselves started doing that after Russia had actively intervened with air strikes. I would say that then the US partners were forced to do that, so to speak, in order not to lag behind us in the struggle against terrorist infrastructure," Lavrov said.

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