Alparslan Celik, the Turkish citizen who gunned down the Russian pilot Oleg Peskov, after his warplane was shot down by the Turkish air force last November 24, said Thursday that he doesn’t fear the Russians who are on a manhunt to either capture or kill him in Syria.
“I have no such fear [of being killed]. We will continue our fight to the last person, the last breath, [and] the last drop of blood,” Celik told the Dogan news agency.
The Russians thought they would find Celik in the town of Rabia in Latakia which was recaptured by the Syrian military and its allied militias earlier this week. However Celik was at a funeral of one of his fallen comrades in arms where he admitted to coming and going from Turkey regularly.
On Thursday Celik also admitted to receiving support from the Turks but argued that it isn’t enough, saying the lack of anti-aircraft weaponry in particular is a major weakness on his side since his forces have been routinely bombarded by the Russian air force, whose intervention on the side of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has bolstered that regime and seen its opponents pummeled by multiple air strikes.
Celik complained that his forces need more than basic weapons in light of this four month old Russian intervention.
“The same [kind of] weapons are coming today when we are fighting against Russia, which is a world power,” he said. “We are not equipped with the weapons to counter their high-tech devices. But they [our weapons] are certainly coming from the Turkish state. The [kind of] weapons that work in combat at close quarters. But we don’t have an air defense system… What we are asking from the Turkish state is to provide us with air defense weapons.
Turkish man wanted by Russia for killing pilot spotted at Istanbul funeral
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Turkish man who became the target of Moscow’s manhunt, after boasting he had gunned down a Russian fighter pilot parachuting from his crashing plane on the Turkish-Syrian border, was spotted at a funeral ceremony in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Alparslan Celik told reporters he did not have a fixed abode and would return to Syria after the funeral, where he would continue to fight to defend Turkmen villages being bombed by the regime, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.
“I am here and there. I am going and returning. And now, I came for the funeral ceremony and I will go again,” said Celik, the son of a former district mayor from Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), at the funeral of İbrahim Kucuk, a district head of the MHP who was killed in an air bombardment on a Turkmen village in Syria.
Celik has been the target of a Russian manhunt since after November 24, when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian warplane on Turkey’s border with Syria, where the Russians have thrown in their air force behind the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Celik proudly boasted on video after the incident that he had gunned down Oleg Peshkov, the surviving pilot who had parachuted from his jet after being hit by Turkish jets.
Peshkov’s plane was apparently on a bombing run against Celik and his Turkmen comrades who are fighting the Syrian regime, which Russia intervened to support.
Peshkov said he had seen the pilot bombing the village.
“There is no place for a person who has bombed civilian Turkmens every day in my conscious,” said Celik. “Reprisal is the most natural right. There is life in reprisal,” he added.