Turkey Offers House to Family of Deceased Russian Pilot

A view of Kemer, Turkey.

Turkish officials have offered to give a house in the country's seaside resort of Kemer to the family of a Russian fighter pilot downed by Turkish air forces, the TASS news agency reported Friday.

Russian Consul General Alexander Tolstopyatenko said that the offer was made by a visiting delegation from Kemer City Hall.

The family of the Su-24 pilot Oleg Peshkov, however, turned down the offer.

The pilot's brother Pavel told the Govorit Moskva radio station Friday that the family is not going to ask Turkey for any compensation and will not accept it if it is offered.

“This is not just humiliating, it's awful,” he said.

The move of the Kemer authorities comes as Russia and Turkey begin taking steps to mend ties after a Russian warplane was shot down near Turkey's border with Syria in Nov. 24 last year.

Russia responded to the incident with a package of economic sanction against the country, including a ban on package tours. The Kremlin insisted that a formal apology and an agreement to pay compensation would be the only way to resume talks.

Erdogan wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday after an eight-month standoff, saying that Turkey was “ready to take any initiative in order to relieve the pain and the damage inflicted.”

The Turkish government also announced Tuesday that the country was ready to pay a compensation “if necessary,” but later backtracked on the claim.

Putin and Erdogan held phone talks on Wednesday, but no official information about possible compensation was released following their 40-minutes conversation.

Putin has since lifted the ban on package holidays to Turkey, while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed ministers to start work to remove other restrictions against Turkey.

The sanctions will be lifted in phases “to avoid damaging Russian manufacturers,” Medvedev said.

The Kremlin announced that Russia is now expecting “a month of intensive contact” with Ankara, TASS reported.

The two leaders also agreed during talks to meet in person for the first time since the start of the crisis. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Putin and Erdogan could meet before the upcoming G20 summit, according to TASS.

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