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‘Don’t play with fire’- Turkey President warns Russia

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Following the implementation of strict bilateral rules especially against Turkish businessmen by Russian authorities, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Russia not to “play with fire”.

Reports say Turkish businessmen have been detained in Russia following the face-off between both countries after a Russian jet was downed near a Syrian border.

Moscow has also ordered the suspension of visa-free travel with Turkey, and its tourism agency head announced on Friday it will ask more than 9,000 Russians currently in Turkey to return home by the end of December.

Russia has threatened further economic retaliation – a response Erdogan has dismissed as emotional and indecorous.

“It is playing with fire to go as far as mistreating our citizens who have gone to Russia,” Erdogan told supporters during a speech in Bayburt, in northeast Turkey, on Friday.

Read also: Turkey knew it was Russian aircraft, Putin says

“We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia… We don’t want these relations to suffer harm in any way.”

Erdogan has sought to speak with Russian President Putin at a climate summit in Paris that starts on Monday. But according to Putin’s aide, the Russian President has so far refused to talk with Erdogan because Ankara has not yet apologised for the downing of the jet.

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