ANKARA Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu dismissed Russian allegations that Turkey was acquiring oil from Islamic State as “Soviet-style propaganda” on Thursday and said the NATO member was doing all it could to secure its border with Syria.
Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
“In the Cold War period there was a Soviet propaganda machine. Every day it produced various lies. Firstly they would believe them and then expect the world to believe them. These had been remembered as Pravda lies and nonsense,” Davutoglu stated.
“This was an old tradition but it has suddenly reared its head again. Nobody attaches any worth to the lies of this Soviet-style propaganda machine,” he told a news conference prior to leaving on an official pay a visit to to Azerbaijan.
Davutoglu mentioned a rejection of Russia’s claims by the United States was further evidence that Moscow was peddling a fabricated narrative.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday that Washington rejected the premise that the Turkish government was in league with the militants to smuggle oil, saying it saw no evidence to help such an accusation.
But President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials have also voiced aggravation in current days at lingering gaps in safety along a roughly 100 km (62-mile) stretch of Turkey’s border with Syrian territory controlled by Islamic State.
White Residence spokesman Josh Earnest stated on Wednesday that some places had been nevertheless not effectively secured.
Davutoglu stated Turkey was undertaking all it can and is setting up “physical barriers” on that stretch of border. He stated Turkey was functioning with coalition partners to try to take away Islamic State fighters from the Syrian side.
“98 km of the border is under Deash handle, physical barriers are getting setting up right here,” he said, employing an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“Turkey is undertaking all sorts of work with coalition elements to remove Deash from the border in the period ahead.”
(Extra reporting by Asli Kandemir Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Nick Tattersall and Andrew Heavens)