Erdogan says no one can “slander” Turkey over Islamic State oil claims

No one can ‘slander’ Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State, says Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, adding that he would resign if such allegations are proven to be true.

DOHA, QATAR (DECEMBER 2, 2015) (TURKISH PRESIDENCY POOL) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday (December 2) that no one had the right to “slander” Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State, and that he would stand down if such allegations were proven to be true.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had proof that Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.

“No one has the right to slander Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Daesh (an arabic acronym for Islamic State). Turkey has not lost its values so much as to buy oil from a terrorist organisation. I said this in Paris as well. Those who slander Turkey need to prove it. If they can prove their allegations I will not remain in my post as the President even for a minute. But those who make these slanders should not remain in their posts either. This is what an honest politician would do,” Erdogan said in a speech to students at a university in Qatar’s capital Doha.

He added that he did not want relations with Moscow to worsen further.

“We do not want this problem to further harm our relations and our potential (to improve cooperation). We follow Russia’s disproportionate reactions to this incident with sadness while all the world admits that we were right. If these reactions continue, we will be forced to take some measures as well,” he said.

Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.