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CONNECT THE WORLD
Russia Responds After Turkey Shoots Down Plane; African Start-up: Edusto Ventures. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired November 25, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:11] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A fatal shooting down of a Russian jet, and a bodyblow to Russia's already tense ties with Turkey.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Today's loss for us was a stab in the back from terrorist accomplices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Angry accusations and thinly veiled threats as two key players in Syria's civil war dig in to their starkly opposing positions.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): This warplane had to be dealt with because the plane had not answered our
ANDERSON: NATO calls for calm, while the world waits to see whether the conflict in Syria is about to get even worse.
Live from Istanbul welcome to this special edition of Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. As we explore the impact and implications of
this developing crisis, where are escalations tensions between Turkey and Russia one day
after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane.
Turkey condemning what it calls a violation of its air space while Russia disputes its jet ever crossed the Syria-Turkish border.
Well, this video obtained exclusively by CNN shows the wreckage of the Russian SU-24. Moscow says one of the plane's pilots has been rescued and
is safe while the other is presumed dead.
Turkey and Russia have long been on opposing sides of the war in Syria but there are fresh accusations today.
For more let's turn to Matthew Chance, who is in Moscow for us this hour.
What news of the downed pilot, Matt? And decode the rhetoric that we have
been hearing from Moscow, if you will.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATINOAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, or rather the navigator who was part of the Sohoi 24 aircraft when it was shot down by
They both ejected apparently safely. but only one of them made it to the ground alive. It was this Captain Constantine Muraktin (ph). He's
been named by the Russian media. He's also appeared on Russian state television within the past few minutes basically giving a short version of
his account of what happened.
He said the skies were clear, the radar in the aircraft showed absolutely where the Turkish border was and he said this, there was no way
the plane entered Turkish air space.
He also denied there was any communication with Turkish interceptors. The Turks said they tried to communicate ten times with the Russians. He
said there was no radio contact and there was no visual contact either.
So that captain Muraktin really disputing the Turkish version of events.
Well, in terms of the rhetoric, well that's been building up over the course of the past 24 hours, of course. Vladimir Putin saying this shoot-
down by Turkey was, in his words "a stab in the back."
Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, had today taken his turn to be critical as well, he called off his visit to Turkey. He said that
they will be reassessing diplomatic relations with that country as well. And he said
that he did not believe that this shoot-down of the Russian airliner was all together accidental.
Take a listen to what Sergey Lavrov had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, FOREIGN MINISTER OF RUSSIA (through translator): we have serious doubts about the fact that it was an unpremeditated act. It
looks very much like a planned provocation. Reports that you and your colleagues make also speak about this, showing previously prepared video
footage and much other evidence that it was all planned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Well, the specific allegation that Sergey Lavrov was making is that he was suggesting that perhaps the United States gave its approval
for the Turks to shoot this Russian plane out of the sky. He's also alleged that as well as other Russian officials as well, have done the
same, that this was a sort of retribution by the Turks in response to the Russians targeting ISIS oil facilities,
some of them in that area which the Russians have been striking very hard in the past several weeks -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you viewers.
And news just coming in Turkish and Russian foreign ministers are now due to meet in the next couple of days.
Sergey Lavrov canceling a visit to here to Ankara today post what happened with the downing of that jet.
CNN's Ian Lee also with me here in Istanbul. And Ian, Ankara had been warning Moscow they would retaliate if their border was threatened. How do
you experts here read the situation developing in Syria?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's take this from the
beginning. There have been a few incursions in the past by the Russians in Turkish air space and this section of the Turkish and Syrian border is
sensitive for the government here in Turkey.
The people on the other side in Syria are ethnic Turkmen and Turkey has a close kinship with them. They don't want to see them attacked.
So what we have here is an area where it's very sensitive and you have this plane, which Turkey says crossed the border and that's when they shot
Now, Turkey has said they didn't know who was flying those planes at the time.
But this has a lot of real consequences on the ground moving forward. One analyst I talked to said this isn't going to be forgive and forget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONER CAGAPLAY, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: I think the really long- term fight is going to be in Syria, where Putin is going to go all-out to defeat the Turkish position, which is that he'll do everything he can to
push Turkey-backed rebels out of Syria, not only that will happen probably but also because we'll now see a massive Russian-Assad operation in
northern Syria, that could mean a new flow of refugees into Turkey.
Turkey now hosts about 2.5 million refugees. It would not be unrealistic to
say that because Ankara shot down a plane Turkey will probably get another 1 million or 2 million Syrian refugees in the coming year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And so there you have what they can do on the ground in Syria, but also there's talks that Russia will take punitive measures against the
Turkish economy. Turkey depends about roughly 8 percent of its gas comes from Russia, they also have -- they're also a big exporter of produce as
well as contractors to Russia. So there's a lot of measures Russia can take here.
ANDERSON: Well, the Turkish president has said he doesn't want to escalate this situation. And these conciliatory words, the idea that these
diplomats are now going to meet. Is this a ratcheting down, do you think, of this anxiousness? I mean, is this sort of people beginning to work out,
they've got to get together again?
LEE: Oh, definitely on the Turkish side. We've heard that all along saying they held no animosity toward Russia, that they want to avoid this
in the future.
ANDERSON: They're our friends, they're our neighbors.
LEE: Yes. They don't want this to ratchet up. They don't want tensions to rise, but you also have to look at Russia. We have just heard
fiery rhetoric from one Russian official after another.
Are the Russians willing to ratchet it down at this point, and Turkey very much along with NATO and the United States want to ease the tensions
and get to negotiating table but right now, but right now we're hearing that Russia is
going to put new surface-to-air missiles in western Syria, also they're going to have fighter escorts with their bombers.
All right, for the time being, Ian, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Well, we've heard some very harsh words from Russia over the past 24 hours for the diplomatic ramifications then of the downing of this Russian
I want to turn to CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. He's joining me live from Washington, D.C., for you this evening. And lest
we forget what we're talking about here is a proxy war, Nic, that is very complicated and very messy Syrian conflict.
Whilst we await to see whether two of its sponsors will be prepared to exercise restraint where does this all lead efforts to find a solution?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well this was the week where
you had President of France Francois Hollande meeting with British prime minister, meeting with President Obama yesterday, meeting with German
Chancellor Angela Merkel today, meeting tomorrow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin himself this week had been to Tehran, admittedly that was in the context of energy and other business dealings between the two
countries, but Russia is believed to hold the key, if you will, to what's holding the United States and its allies back from getting a deal more
quickly on how to solve Syria.
The question is of course the future Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Iranians perhaps most staunchly behind him.
So, if there was anything that President Putin could do this week to persuade the Iranians to step back from being firm behind Bashar al-Assad,
this would have been the week to do it, and he had some if you will could say sort of moral authority to win this compromise.
Russia's been attacked by ISIS. The imperatives there are much stronger for Russia, President Francois Hollande this week, his country
attacked as well.
So, here you have two leaders due to meet on Thursday who had perhaps been able to get some kind of compromise from all their partners and allies
and work this together, but really, what we've seen happen in the past 24 hours the downing
of this aircraft froze everything up in the air.
Russia is not going to be as disposed as it might have been to coming to a deal here so quickly.
ANDERSON: You said this is the week that could have been, as it were. I wonder how you read what's going on so far as NATO is concerned. After
all, this is what the first time in half a century that a NATO member has actively opened fire on a Russian warplane. Where does this leave the
organization at this point?
ROBERTSON: Well, if you look back to the cold war, I mean nerves of steel. There was a nuclear arms race, the cold war by definition, and
countries had less idea of what was happening either side of that Iron Curtain, and they held their nerve when at times -- Cuban missile crisis
for one, you know, it all could have gone horribly wrong.
So certainly within the context of NATO, not to be able to hold one's nerve
at a time in a week where there was this opportunity for diplomacy, perhaps here Turkey stands out a little differently.
You will have as we've heard from Vladimir Putin saying that President Erdogan in Turkey is supporting, essentially supporting ISIS. Now, no one
buys that, but there is a belief writ larger that Turkey hasn't done enough to crack down on ISIS, that it has been supporting radical Islamists.
So, you know, in this context and in this environment, the relationship between Turkey and the rest of NATO stands apart separately,
their strategic interests don't necessarily align.
And you can point to the Kurdish issue as being one of those. So this is going to create a little unease within NATO that Turkey wasn't able, if
you will, to hold back at this delicate time.
ANDERSON: Nic is out of Washington for you this evening. Thank you. And if you want to read more about NATO's relationship with Russia and the
extraordinary hurdle it's facing right now, do head to the website. Nic has an in-depth analysis on this latest escalation and how it's
complicating any possible solution in Syria, that's all at CNN.com. It's a good read. Have a look at that.
Later this hour, we expect to hear from the U.S. President Barack Obama being briefed by his national security advisers on the country's
homeland security posture going in to what is this holiday season.
The U.S. holiday Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday. And I'm going to get you the president's remarks live later in this show looking at
around a half an hour from now.
Much more of our special coverage of this story ahead. I'll be joined by an expert in international relations to see how the Russia/Turkey crisis
could affect any peace talks going forward for Syria.
Also this hour, Pope Francis is on his first ever trip to Africa as pontiff. We're going to show you what is on his busy agenda. That's next.
[11:15:45] ANDERSON: Well, pope Francis is bringing a message of peace and
reconciliation as he begins his first ever trip to Africa as pontiff. He addressed the crowd in Nairobi after meeting with the president of Kenya.
He called for an end to violence, conflict and terrorism.
From Nairobi, the pope travels to Uganda, then wraps up his trip in the Central African Republic where he will try to ease tensions between
Christians and Muslims.
And as we get the call to prayer here in Istanbul in Turkey, you're watching CNN, and a special edition of Connect the World with me, Becky
Anderson, welcome back.
Returning to our top story this diplomatic crisis over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane, even as Turkey says it wants to de-escalate
the situation. It's also delivering a stern warning.
The prime minister here says Russia should stop its attacks in Northern Syria near the border. And he says, quote, "there is not a single
element of terrorists in that region." He accuses Russia of killing Turkmen under the pretext of
Well, I'm joined now by Ahmet Han. He's an associate professor at the Khali University here in Istanbul. And we're going to see if we can
compete slightly with the call to prayer this evening.
What, firstly, do you make of this latest escalation and its potential consequences?
AHMET HAN, KALI HAS UNIVERSITY: Well, I would say that this is part dependency, this is the best explanation. Turkish foreign policy in Syria
has actually tacked Turkey on a path that took it to a point where it should actually choose between shooting down that Russian plane in the face
of repetitive Russian incursions into Turkish air space or else just give up its position on establishing a safe haven for Turkmen and stopping the
Kurds from passing to the west inside of (inaudible).
ANDERSON: So did Turkey misjudge? Or was there a message here?
HAN: Well, there is clearly a message. Nevertheless, it's a message that Turkey is forced to give rather than giving it at a time of its own
ANDERSON: Russia accuses Turkey of speaking the language of anti- terrorism while working to facilitate and support it? Is that true?
HAN: I would not say that this is true. Of course, being a neighbor to
Syria and being very much involved in what is happening in Syria right now, having
relations with parties all over the Syrian landscape who are fighting against each other and having a very strong position against the Assad
regime, Turkey of course has some relations with all the actors that are involved, but directly at least for now directly supporting ISIS is pretty
much beyond our imagination.
ANDERSON: Russia and Turkey both crucial players in peace negotiations for Syria. And that has to be where we are looking to the
International diplomats have been meeting in Vienna, as you know, trying to find common ground on a resolution to the war. Russia, of
course, is an ally of President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey has long called for him to leave power as you've rightly pointed out.
How might the huge rift over this downed warplane further complicate the peace process?
HAN: It is definitely going to complicate the peace process and I'm sure that we're going to witness some efforts from Russia, which I do
suspect will be effective for marginalization of Turkey from all those talks concerning the fate
of Syria. And in the end, where we are going to end up is I believe the strengthening of the Russian position rather than seeing some traction on
the Turkish side of the rhetoric.
ANDERSON: And how will that play out with President Erdogan if he's marginalized from the talks?
HAN: I don't think that this is going to affect very much the position of
Mr. Erdogan. He has a certain strategy for domestic consumption and this domestic strategy works.
ANDERSON: Were you surprised by the support that the U.S. and NATO offered yesterday suggesting that Turkey has every right to defend its
Going on though to say they didn't want to see an escalation of this.
HAN: Well, this say very classical NATO stance when it comes to such incidents, especially involving Turkey. And I believe that NATO has made a
wise decision in making that declaration, because actually if you approach the
matter from international law perspective, Turkey had every right to shoot down that Russian plane.
But strategically, was it the soundest move? That is debatable.
[11:20:35] ANDERSON: You talked about Russia -- sorry, Turkey potentially being marginalized from these peace talks going forward. Is
Turkey increasingly isolated?
HAN: I do think so. I do think so. Definitely a change in Turkey, Syria policies in order that would provide Turkey...
ANDERSON: Are we going to get that?
HAN: Well I suspect that we are going to see that. But the international system actually imposes upon Turkey some changes, and that
happens de facto...
ANDERSON: Is President Erdogan willing to change his strategy?
HAN: I do not think that he's willing, but he will be forced to down the road at some point. But before that, I think we will see a lot
happening on Syrian ground.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
HAN: Thank you very much for having me.
ANDERSON: Live from Istanbul, this is Connect the World with analysis tonight.
Coming up, Turkey and Russia may be on opposing sides in Syria, but they, certainly have in Jordan very strong economic relationship. We're
going to explore whether that is about to change.
First up, though, find out why business is child's play for one Kenyan entrepreneur. Your African startup up next.
[11:25:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Having a toy is every child's dream, but toys aren't always affordable or made locally. One person doing his
part to change that is Daniel Otero in Nairobi, Kenya.
DANIEL OTERO, FOUNDER EDUSTO VENTURES: There was a missing type of toys in Kenya, because most toys are imported.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After graduating from arts school, Ortero started
creating toys for schools. With only $20 he launched Edusto ventures in 2012.
OTERO: My initial capital I used it in buying some raw materials, that is plywood, bought paint, bought brushes and then I borrowed some
tools to work.
My first items were picture actually puzzles. I began in a hard way. I marketed myself from school to school. Sometimes you get disappointed.
Along the way you go to schools and they tell you we don't want this, or we're not going to buy today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After a few weeks, Otero got his first order.
OTERO: A (inaudible) 500 and I made my first 5,000 shillings in my business.
When I began I had only five designs. Each year I developed more designs.
Right now I have 110 toys I do.
This business is quite the tasking. I'm the designer. I'm the quality controller. I'm the marketer sometimes. So I have to do all the work
first before it grows.
Now sometimes you can even get in the time of sitting down and thinking about other stuff, it's not an easy thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Currently, Ortero he relies on recommendations to market and sell his products.
OTERO: And I have that dream that I'm going to make sure that this becomes a big company, I want to make sure that Edusto becomes a global
company that produces the best quality toys.
[11:30:27] ANDERSON: Welcome back to what is a special edition of Connect the World. We're live in Turkey's largest city Istanbul. I'm
Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.
Tensions escalating over Tuesday's downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says, quote, "it looks
very much like a planned provocation." Russia says it is planning on deploying a defense missile system in Syria. Meanwhile the Turkish
president is accusing Russia of deceit and propping up the Assad regime in Syria.
Pope Francis has arrived in Nairobi, the first stop on his inaugural trip to Africa. He'll spend three days in Kenya before moving on to Uganda
and the troubled Central African Republic which has seen conflict recently between Christians and Muslims.
The U.S. military investigation is determined quote human roar error was largely responsible for a deadly air strike on Doctors Without Borders
hospital in Afghanistan last month. U.S. military personnel apparently aimed at the hospital in Kunduz by mistake instead of a Taliban target
nearby. Now the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan calls it a tragic mistake.
The Belgian capital is attempting to return to normal following four days of the highest terror alert level. Schools reopened across Brussels
and many metro lines were back in service, but security is extremely tight. 500 extra security personnel are on patrol and the terror alert level
remains at four.
Well, very shortly we expect to hear from the U.S. president. You're looking at live pictures here. Barack Obama is being briefed by his
national security advisers on the country's homeland security posture going into the holiday season.
The U.S. holiday Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, And we will bring you the president's remarks as soon as he walks up to the
microphone in just a couple of minutes' time.
Well, police in the U.S. are dealing with the fallout from another deadly shooting of a black teenager. Protests erupted Tuesday night in
Chicago, after authorities released video of an officer shooting 17-year- old Laquan McDonald 16 times.
Officer Jason Van Dyke is now charged with first-degree murder.
The shooting took place in October of last year, but the video was only just released on the orders of a judge. Our Stephanie Elam is in
Chicago and she joins us now -- Stephanie.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it's because of a reporter who wanted to see this video because officials said that they needed to
continue to investigate what was seen on this video, and that is the reason why we are
now able to see this, and you can judge for yourself if this looked like this was an excessive use of force.
ELAM: Demonstrators converged on Chicago streets by the hundreds, outraged over this graphic police dash cam video showing Laquan McDonald
being shot by a single officer 16 times in October of last year. The disturbing footage shows McDonald falling to the ground after being shot
then hit multiple times while on the ground.
SUPERINTENDENT GARY F. MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: The officer in this case took a young man's life. And he's going to have
account for his actions.
ELAM: The 37-year-old officer, Jason Van Dyke, is charged with first- degree murder and has been taken off the Chicago police payroll. For now he's being held without bond. Van Dyke's lawyer says his client feared for
DANIEL HERBERT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is truly not a murder case and we feel we are going to very successful in defending this case.
ELAM: On the night Laquan was fatally show, investigators say McDonald was wielding a knife with a three inch blade, which he allegedly used to
slash the tire of a police car. Police say when McDonald, who had PCPC in his system, ignored orders to drop the knife, Van Dyke fired 16 rounds.
[08:10:07] ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: Officer Van Dyke was on the scene for less than 30 second before he started shooting.
In addition to the fact that all evidence indicates he began shooting approximately six seconds after getting out of his vehicle.
ELAM: City officials have been prepping for mass demonstrations in the wake of the videos release, calling for peaceful protests.
RAHM EMANUEL, CHICAGO MAYOR: This opportunity for healing begins now.
ELAM: Late Tuesday, dozens locked arms in solidarity, blocking off an intersection and Interstate 94. Officers made some arrests, but tense
moments between the crowd and police never escalated out of control.
[11:35:04] ELAM: And those protests did go into the early morning today, Becky, but I can tell you that this was a different tone than what
we saw in Ferguson, Missouri, last year with those really powder keg of protests. The difference here, too, in April, the city settled with the
family of Laquan McDonald, paying them $5 million before they even filed a lawsuit, claiming wrongful death.
ANDERSON: Stephanie Elam is reporting for you. Thank you, Steph.
Let me get you back to our top story, a day after Turkey shot down a Russian
warplane, we now have heard from the pilot who survived that shooting.
Russia 24 just reporting that he's now in safe hands at Moscow's base in Syria, and disputes Turkish claims that the plane received warnings
before it was fired on.
Now, Constantin Muraktin (ph) told Russian journalists there was, quote, "no
contact at all."
Well for more on this story I'm joined by an expert on Turkish/Russian relations. The president here claiming that the plane violated Turkish air
space and Turkish sovereignty and that it was warned ten times before it was struck, and say that this isn't the first time there have been
incursions into Turkish air space by Russia's military jets.
What do you make of all of this?
SENER AKTURK, PROFESSOR: Indeed this is not the first time these kinds of warnings have been issued against the Russian military, and it is
true this is certainly the lowest point in Turkish/Russian relations in the last 15 years, but relations have been worse before that. In the 1990s,
they were much worse when Turkey and Russia were on the opposite sides of the army conflict and many other conflicts in central Asia and other post
Soviet states as well as not respecting each other's territorial integrity.
Turkey repeatedly accused with reason Russia of aiding the terrorist organization PKK in the 1990s.
So compared to the 1990s, Turkish/Russian relations are still much better because there is solid economic social and strategic foundation to
it, including the Russian commitment to build Turkey's first nuclear power reactor, $25 billion of bilateral trade, Russia being the number one --
along with Germans -- being the number one source of tourism to Turkey, all kinds of factors that are mitigating the conflict potential of this
I want to also mention that a Turkish jet was shot over Syrian -- allegedly over Syrian territorial waters three years ago in 2012, which...
ANDERSON: What was it doing there?
AKTURK: It was, according to the Turkish accounts, it wasn't in Syrian territorial waters. It was doing its regular duty of guarding the
Turkish borders but it was shot down and the Syrian military accepted shooting down the Turkish plane. And many -- some, at least, have
suspected that, again, there could have been a Russian involvement in that shooting as well.
What I'm saying is that these kinds of incidents are not common but possible and they have happened before in the last couple of years. It's
not necessarily an act of war, and de-escalation is possible.
ANDERSON: Let me just put this to you, because many experts are asking themselves whether Turkey misjudged in this incident. It says it
warned this plane some ten times but did it just misjudge or was there a message in this?
AKTURK: The literal interpretation I think is correct and it is corroborated by the U.S. military, U.S. military also corroborated the
Turkish account that the Russian pilot was given ten warnings. So in that sense I think the Turkish American account of what happened is correct.
But at the same time, these kinds of violations may have and probably have happened in the past. What made the difference in this case is
probably Turkey wanted to give the message that the Russian military strikes against the moderate position what President Hollande and President
Obama in their press conference yesterday called the moderate opposition the Turkman, Free Syrian Army and other
forces fighting against Assad should not be the targets of Russian military intervention.
So this could have been a message that is really tailored to that dimension of the conflict.
ANDERSON: I've got it.
Now Russia today accusing Turkey of supporting terrorism, accusing Turkey of spreading radical Islam and the prime minister going so far as to
accuse Turkish officials of profiting from ISIS oil exports from Syria. Is there any truth in any of what Russia is accusing Turkey of today?
AKTURK: I did not see any definitive proof of these claims so I do not believe them because I really need to see corroborating evidence from
at least several sources.
ANDERSON: You don't deny they support groups, Islamic groups in Syria.
AKTURK; So does the United States. So, in that account Turkey and the
United States do support -- almost all the groups in Syria are Islamic groups so in that sense, I do agree a group such as Free Syrian Army,
ethnic Turkman militia, possibly Ahrar al-Sharm (ph) and other groups which are certainly at the same time also fighting ISIS, and Assad at the same
time are getting international support including from Turkey and the United States.
But I have not seen in this conflict, although not a Syrian expert person definitive U.S. or Turkish support for these groups such as ISIS.
ANDERSON: We have heard the Turkish prime minister say today that Russia is a friend and a neighbor and he clearly understands it to de-
escalate what is going on at present is to improve Turkey's economy going forward.
Let's just remind ourselves, viewers, that Sergey Lavrov has told Russians not to travel to Turkey because of terror threats.
Let me just bring our viewers up to date here. Turkey is a popular destination for Russians, as you rightly pointed, out according to the
Harriet Daily News (ph), a government figures show 2.8 million Russia visit Turkey in the
first eight months of the year. Some tour operators have already said they are stopping flights. This tourism relationship alongside the fact that
Turkey gets 60 percent of its natural gas from Russia, they could turn it off
those taps tomorrow and it's getting colder here, how important is that economic relationship between these two?
AKTURK: It's certainly important.
I have been to Antalya (ph), the prime Turkish tourist destination, more than once in the last year and the most common language one hears
there is Russian followed by German.
So Germans and Russians are the top two countries sending millions of tourists to Turkey.
So if Russian tourists stop coming to Turkey in large numbers that's going to damage the Turkish tourism industry to a considerable extent.
The same is true of natural gas, although Turkey receives an important share of its natural gas also from Iran and some other countries, so it's
not as devastating.
The most devastating and strategically important one, of course, if Turkey's nuclear power plant deal.
ANDERSON: Got it. All right. I'm going to have to stop you there, because President Obama is about to speak. Thank you very much indeed.
Let's join our colleagues stateside for more.
(SIMULCAST WITH CNN USA)