The Russian pilot rescued after his plane was shot down by Turkish forces on Tuesday has thus far staunchly denied Turkey's claims that he and his fellow pilot were warned at least 10 times in the minutes before they were shot down. "There was no contact at all," said Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin on Wednesday. On Thursday, Turkey issued its retort, by way of audio recordings made available to the AP. Turkey says the 10 audio clips are evidence of the repeated warnings made by the Turkish military, with the AP reporting they "indicate the plane was warned several times Tuesday that it was approaching Turkey’s airspace and asked to change course." The AP also states that the voice in the audio, which is at times nearly incomprehensible, "grows increasingly more agitated" as it continues.
The audio features a voice saying in broken English: "This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace." Turkey is the only party that speaks in the audio, and the AP presents three possibilities as to why that's the case: The Russian pilots never heard the warnings; they heard them but did not respond; or they did respond but Turkey did not release that audio. Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday responded to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's order, issued on the same day, that his country consider measures that would block some Turkish food imports and put some joint projects on ice. "We are strategic partners … 'Joint projects may be halted, ties could be cut'? Are such approaches fitting for politicians?" Erdogan said, in what Reuters calls " an escalating war of words." (Read more Russia stories.)