Jane Onyanga-Omara, USA TODAY 9:18 a.m. EST November 29, 2015
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday said his country has taken delivery of the body of a pilot of a Russian warplane shot down by Turkish fighter jets.
Davutoglu said the man's body was brought to the border province of Hatay and will be flown back to Russia, the Associated Press reported.
He said the Orthodox church in Hatay performed religious rites for the pilot, who died after he parachuted out of the plane and was shot by Syrian rebels. He has been identified as Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov. The other pilot was rescued by Syrian and Russian special forces.
The body was sent to the Turkish capital Ankara on Sunday afternoon, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Igor Mityakov, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Turkey, told Russia's TASS news agency that the body will be given to Russian diplomats on Sunday.
He added: "The embassy’s military attache will be on the flight next to the body. At the aerodrome in Ankara, Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov and the embassy’s representatives will meet the plane. The date and time of the body’s delivery to Russia are being discussed now."
Turkey shot down the plane on Tuesday, accusing it of violating Turkey's airspace despite repeated warnings. Russia denies the aircraft entered Turkish territory. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated as a result of the incident.
On Saturday, the Kremlin issued economic sanctions on Turkey, including suspending visa-free travel for Turks visiting Russia, ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and banning Russian tourism companies selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.