Turkey vows action for downing jet

2012-06-23 19:09
AFP

AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - Turkey will take retaliatory steps against Syria for the downing of one of its military jets, President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday, even as he suggested that the aircraft may have violated Syrian airspace.

It was not clear if Gul was suggesting military retaliation, increased sanctions against Syria or other possible steps, including demands for an apology, and his aide would not comment on his words.

But Faruk Celik, Turkey's Labour and Social Security Minister, said Turkey would retaliate "either in the diplomatic field or give other types of response".

"Even if we assume that there was a violation of Syria's airspace - though the situation is still not clear - the Syrian response cannot be to bring down the plane," Celik told reporters.

"The incident is unacceptable," he said. "Turkey cannot endure it in silence."

Syrian forces shoot down plane

Syria said on Friday its forces had shot down a Turkish military plane that entered its air space. The plane, an unarmed F-4, went down in the Mediterranean Sea about 13km from the Syrian town of Latakia, Turkey said.

The incident further escalated tensions between Syria and Nato-member Turkey. The two neighbours used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011, but Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime's brutal response to the country's uprising and is playing host to civilian and military Syrian opposition groups.

In Baghdad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the recent defection of a Syrian pilot to Jordan and the downing of the Turkish jet showed that the Syrian conflict could have far-reaching repercussions.

"Our main concern is the spillover of the crisis into neighbourhood countries. No country is immune from this spillover," he said.

"If this conflict were to turn into all-out sectarian or civil war, Iraq would be affected, Lebanon would be affected, Jordan would not be immune, Turkey could be (affected)."

‘No further escalation in region’

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was "greatly worried" by the incident, urged a thorough investigation and welcomed Turkey's cool-headed reaction in the incident's immediate aftermath.

"Everything must be done to ensure that there won't be any further escalation in the already tense region,' he said in a statement.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuoglu chaired a meeting Saturday with military officials during which they discussed possible steps and a search and rescue mission for the two missing pilots, the Foreign Ministry said. There was no announcement after the meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc insisted the plane was not a fighter jet but a reconnaissance plane and said Turkey was awaiting an explanation from Syria.

The president said Turkey was still trying to establish the exact circumstances of the incident, but said it was "routine" for jets flying in high-speeds to unintentionally violate other countries' air spaces for short periods of time.

"These incidents are routine," Gul said. "They are incidents that are not ill-intentioned and happen because of the speeds (of the jets)."

"Was that the case, or did (the incident) occur in our own air space, these facts will emerge," he said. "No one should have any doubt that whatever (action) is necessary will be taken."

‘Unidentified aerial target’

Gul did not elaborate. But Turkey said after an April border shooting incident - in which two people inside a Turkish refugee camp died - that it would call on its Nato allies to intervene should it feel its security was being threatened.

Syrian coast guards joined Turkish coast guards in their search for the jet's two missing crew members for a second day on Saturday, Arinc, the deputy prime minister said. Gul said earlier that some pieces of the wreckage had been found.

Late Friday, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said the military had spotted an "unidentified aerial target" flying at low altitude and high speed.

"The Syrian anti-air defences counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly," Sana said. "The target turned out to be a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian airspace and was dealt with according to laws observed in such cases."

Syria claimed the jet violated its air space over territorial waters, penetrating about a kilometre. It said Syrian forces only realised that it was a Turkish jet after firing.

On Saturday, the banner headline of Turkish newspaper Hurriyet accused Syria of "Playing with Fire," while Vatan newspaper said Syria would "pay the price" for the attack.

Calm

Arinc and other government ministers however, urged restraint.

"We must remain calm and collected," he said. "We must not give premium to any provocative speeches and acts."

The leader of Turkey's main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the downing of the plane was unacceptable but also urged calm.

"All diplomatic channels must be kept open. We are expecting a coolheaded assessment of the incident," he added.

- AP

Read more on:    abdullah gul  |  syria  |  turkey  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 18:12 PM
    Road name: M3 Outbound
    DELAYS approaching the Rhodes Avenue exit
  • Thursday Parow - 18:09 PM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    DELAYS between the N7 Highway and the Durban Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.