JAFFA, Israel – A Turkish supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by a hardline, pro-Erdogan newspaper as saying that his country is “ready to invade Russia if the President [Erdogan] orders us to” in a testament to continuing tensions between Turkey and Russia.
Omit Arabul, chairman of the cavalry club in the town of Ardahan, near the Georgian border, was quoted by the Yani newspaper as saying, “We are the gatekeepers of the nation, and are ready to invade Russia and pray there.”
“The Russians threaten to attack us from the east, using the Armenians; and from the west, using the Bulgarians,” he continued. “So we tell them: go ahead. Contrary to Ottoman times, we will invade Russia directly.”
“We are a nation of invaders,” he went on to say. “A 10-year-old Turkish boy was educated to be an invader just like the 100-year-old man. Our people will push forward and won’t look back.”
The statements came as Russia accused Turkey on Thursday of actively preparing to invade Syria, saying it had spotted troops and military equipment on the border with the war-torn country.
“We have serious grounds to suspect Turkey is in intensive preparations for an armed invasion of the territory of a sovereign state – the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.