Tensions continue to rise between Turkey and Russiaas both sides increase their military power at theTurkish-Syrian border.
Accusations between the two countries grew afterTurkey shot down a Russian military jet last week.
Turkey said Russia invaded Turkish airspace illegallyafter being warned to fly out.
Since then, the two world leaders have throwncomplaints and charges at each other. RussianPresident Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of aidingIslamic State oil smuggling. Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan challenged Putin to prove it.
Erdogan said he would resign if Russia could prove thecharge. Russia offered no evidence to support thesmuggling claim.
Russia‘s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov toldjournalists in Moscow this week that Turkey is the maindestination for the oil stolen from its legitimate owners,which are Syria and Iraq. Turkey resells this oil. Hesaid the appalling part about it is that the country‘s toppolitical leadership is involved in the illegal business —President Erdogan and his family.
Charges that Turkey profits from buying cheap oil fromsmugglers is a sensitive topic. Erdogan’s son, Bilal, has been named in the issue. The Turkish presidentdenied his son’s involvement and any wrong doing.
On the Syrian border with Turkey, military forces wereadded this week. Russia announced that its Su-34bombers that are flying over Syria now carry air-to-airmissiles for self-defense.
The Turkish air force increased its patrols along theborder.
Tuesday, Turkey called for the two countries “to gatheraround the table and talk.” Turkey added it would talkbut would also continue to protect its borders andairspace.