Ordinary Turks React to Su-24 Shoot Down: ‘A Lot of Us Are on Your Side’

As expected, the F-16 attack on a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria has become a hot topic for discussion on Turkish social media. Taking a peak at both the Turkish and English-language corners of the Twitterverse, Sputnik discovered that not only are many Turks upset over the incident, some are downright outraged over their government’s actions.

 With the Turkish Air Force attack on the Russian plane in Syria instantly provoking a swelling response of debate and condolences from both Russian and foreign social media users, Turkish social media users naturally joined in. But in a surprising twist, many offered apologies to their northern neighbor, emphasizing that it is the Recep Erdogan government, not the Turkish people, who should be blamed for the attack.

Some users appealed directly to their Russian friends, using the Russian-language hashtag #StabInTheBack.

​Others responded elsewhere, in other forms, one user even appealing to the Russian prime minister. Many emphasized that they were “ashamed” over their government’s actions, placing the blame squarely on the Erdogan government.

On English-language Twitter, a debate broke out over the Turkish government’s charge, publicized by WikiLeaks, that the Russian plane had flown into Turkish airspace, and their claim that the military had warned the plane ten times over five minutes to change their trajectory.

Ultimately, this outpouring of support from many Turks for Russia and the Russian pilots is an important reminder that whatever mistakes a government might commit, the offended side should never make the mistake of conflating a nation with its wayward leaders.