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Turkish students join their voices to poet’s apologies for downed Russian plane

March 10, 2016, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW March, 10. /TASS

The young people recited the poem in Instanbul’s Taksim Square and on the waterfront of the Bosphorus Strait

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© AP Photo / Burhan Ozbilici

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Turkish university students have joined their voices to the apologies poet Husseyin Haydar has presented to Russia on Turkey’s behalf for the Russian plane downed in November last year and the death of its pilot. The group of students recited his verse in front of a video camera and posted the message on the YouTube portal.

In the video four students take turns to recite extracts from Haydar’s poem entitled An Apology to the Great Russian People. In particular they quote the line saying "fraternal bonds were severed in front of our eyes."

The young people recited the poem in Instanbul’s Taksim Square and on the waterfront of the Bosphorus Strait. Earlier, YouTube published a video in which Haydar presented his apologies in person.

Russia’s Sukhoi-24 bomber was shot down over Syria by a Turkish F-16 fighter on November 24, 2015. Turkey claimed the Russian plane had strayed into its airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry responded the bomber had remained over Syria all the time. Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground seconds after ejecting himself. The navigator was rescued and taken to the Russian base. Shortly after the incident all trading and economic relations between Russia and Turkey were severed. Ankara refused to present apologies for the downed plane and the pilot’s death. Moscow blamed the incident on the Turkish leadership.

Haydar, who assumed responsibility as a poet representing Turkey to apologize for the pilot’s death mentioned quite a few symbols and historical personalities of Russia whom he was asking for forgiveness, including Vladimir Mayakovsky, Maxim Gorky, Yuri Gagarin and also the heroes who defeated Nazism.

The poem ends with the line: "And on my knees I am asking Oleg Peshkov’s mother for forgiveness."

Husseyin Haydar is a Turkish poet of renown, the winner of national awards who has published his works in many literary magazines of the country. He was born in 1956. In 1973 he won a competition of poets organized by the National Education Ministry.

He has had his works published in the Society and Art, The Labor of Art, Literary Front, Turkish Language, Legacy, National Art and other magazines since 1979. The poet’s verses have been translated into many languages.

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