Turkey offers condolences to Russia over plane crash

Erdogan tells Putin he feels 'deep sadness' after 71 people die in plane crash in Moscow's suburbs

By Mehmet Ali Derdiyok and Sinan Uslu

ISTANBUL/ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim offered condolences to their Russian counterparts over the crashed Russian passenger aircraft that left more than 70 people dead Sunday.

In his condolence message to President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said he felt "deep sadness" about the Russian airplane that crashed with 71 people aboard in Moscow's suburbs, according to a Turkish presidential source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Yildirim also offered condolences to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in a telegram, according to Turkish prime ministerial sources.

"I would like to wish patience to the families of those who lost their lives in this painful incident and I offer condolence to your government through you and friendly Russian people," he said.

The Saratov Airlines flight crashed near Ramenskoe town, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said in a statement.

Aboard the flight were six crew members and 65 passengers, including a child.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talked to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over phone to offer his condolences, according to a diplomatic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

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