Turkey downs Russian jet
Turkish opposition leader's allegation supports Russia's assertion that the incident was a planned actReuters

A senior Turkish opposition leader has said that the downing of the Russian warplane was a planned act by the ruling party. İdris Baluken's allegation adds fodder to Moscow's assertion that it was a "planned provocation" by Turkey.

Baluken of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) has said the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) had planned the incident much earlier but executed it only recently. "It is seen that the downing of the Russian jet was decided and planned earlier, and it was just implemented yesterday. What we saw yesterday is a scene from a planned policy," he told reporters at a press conference.

Baluken added that the ruling government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu did not intervene in the Islamic State (Isis) attacks when they targeted Turkmen in northern parts of the country.

"The real matter about the downing of the jet is that the AKP feels the need to intervene in operations against some gangs such as Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra. The AKP did not raise its voice when Turkmens were being killed in Mosul and Telafar in 2014," said the opposition leader.

Russia has decided to reconsider its ties with Turkey after Moscow called the downing of the jet was a planned operation. During a press conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "We have serious doubts about this being an unpremeditated act, it really looks like a planned provocation. Our attitude to the Turkish people has not changed. We have questions over the action of Turkey's current leadership."

Turkey's F-16s brought down Russia's SU-24 bomber on 24 November deeming the warplane was violating Ankara's sovereign airspace. Moscow contests the claims and insists the downed aircraft did not enter Turkish territory. One of the two pilots managed to escape the ground fire when they both ejected after the plane was shot.