World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said an F-4 jet downed by Syria on Friday was hit in international airspace and that it was on a training mission to test Turkey's own national radar system, adding that it was unarmed and had no mission related to Syria.
“The downed Turkish jet was shot down in the international flight zone 13 miles outside of Syria's flight zone,” he said on Sunday during an interview with TRT Haber. He further noted that the jet was only tasked with a routine test of Turkey's own radar system. In reference to Syria's response, Davutoğlu said, “It is either amateurish behavior or ill-intention to describe the Turkish plane as a threat.”
Explaining that in order to conduct the radar test the plane had to fly at a low altitude, Davutoğlu said the jet was hit 13 miles off the Syrian coast in international air space. “Our plane shortly violated Syrian airspace, but not during the time it was shot down,” he said.
The foreign minister further said Syria had not delivered any warnings to Turkey. “During the entire operation conducted by the downed jet, Syria made no attempt to contact Turkish authorities by any means,” he said. Davutoğlu added that Turkish intelligence intercepted radio communications from the Syrian side suggesting that they knew it was a Turkish plane.
He said Turkey's response will be clear after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's scheduled meeting with opposition leaders on Sunday. “We will, without any hesitation, decisively take the necessary steps regarding the Turkish plane downed by Syria,” he added.
Syria said Saturday it shot down a Turkish reconnaissance plane because the plane entered its airspace, insisting it was "not an attack" as both sides desperately tried to de-escalate the episode before it exploded into a regional conflagration.
The downed plane heightened tensions between two countries that had been allies before Syria's 15-month violent uprising, and signaled that the violence gripping Syria is increasingly bleeding outside its borders. Germany and Iraq were among the countries urging restraint in the region.
Syria and neighboring Turkey had cultivated close ties before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011, but since then Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of Syria's regime.
Turks will go to polls on August 10 to choose their new president. If no candidate receives the required 51 percent of the votes in the first round, a run-off will be held Aug. 24.
The shadowy network gained 5.5 million euros and 2.3 million dollars from illegal border crossing operations in the last four months
An unknown group rescued the journalist who had been held for 10 months by the ISIL rebel group in Syria, before brining them to Turkey.
Izmir municipal mayoral candidate for People's Democratic Party is among those arrested in the western Turkish province.
The trial on the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007 resumed in a different court in Istanbul after the first closed under a new law.
Turkey's Prime Minister asked the Constitutional Court to ensure court rulings that remove social media content due to human rights violations are implemented.
HDP co-chairman Ertugrul Kurkcu said the deputies of both parties will be represented in parliament under the HDP soon.
Ahmet Davutoglu refuted Syrian President's claims that the war is turning in the regime's favor.
Kemerkoy and Yenikoy thermal power plants located in the south western province of Mugla are privatized for $2.6 billion.
Oil from Iraq's Kurdish region will flow to international markets via Turkey.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been particularly hostile against Turkey and other opposition groups in Syria.
"I don't have any political plan for the future under today's conditions," Gul told reporters in the western province of Kutahya, when asked about a presidential election in August
Turkey's foreign minister says the country is ready to help in any way it can to resolve the crisis in Ukraine and will support any initiatives.
Earlier this week, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev was for his efforts in defending his people award the Medal of State, the highest award in Turkey, in a ceremony at the Turkish presidential palace in Ankara.
Turkish dailies on Friday are covering President Abdullah Gul telling business leaders to "not get demoralized" over Turkey's political environment, remarks by the country's transport minister over the possible pixelation of "malicious content" on Twitter and the ongoing travails of the embattled chairman of scandal-hit Istanbul football club, Fenerbahce.
Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it is buying from Russia during planned talks, Turkey's energy minister said