World Bulletin / News Desk
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz on Tuesday denied claims by a Dubai-based news channel that two Turkish pilots who died in June after their jet was downed by Syrian air forces were killed by the Syrian military after surviving the crash.
Responding to questions by reporters, Yılmaz said the Foreign Ministry examined the claims and its findings have shown that the allegations are “for certain not true.”
“Such claims should not be given credit,” the minister added.
The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel reported on Saturday that it obtained newly leaked Syrian intelligence documents with the assistance of members of the Syrian opposition that suggest that Capt. Gökhan Ertan and Lt. Hasan Hüseyin Aksoy were captured alive after their fighter jet was shot down on June 22, 2012, and were later killed by Syrian forces.
The RF-4E Phantom, an unarmed reconnaissance jet, crashed off the Syrian coast on June 22 amid tensions between Turkey and Syria over Syria's brutal crackdown on an anti-regime uprising. Syrian authorities claimed responsibility for downing the jet immediately following the incident but defended the action, saying that Syrian air defense was forced to react immediately to a Turkish jet flying low at 100 meters (330 feet) inside Syrian airspace in what was “a clear breach of Syrian sovereignty.” Syria also said the plane was downed by anti-aircraft fire, rather than by a missile, well within its airspace.
Turkey, on the other hand, maintained that the plane was shot down by a missile outside Syrian airspace -- 13 miles off the Syrian coast -- while it was on a solo mission to test domestic radar systems.
Interior minister says bulk in pre-trial custody are military members, as well as judges, prosecutors, police
Number of civil servants suspended for alleged links to FETO coup attempt rises to 51,332
Turkey's ex-EU minister says US has history of supporting coup plotters in the country
Turkish delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly says people are in 'historic' solidarity against failed coup
TANAP's 17.6 kilometer long sub-sea section out of the total 1,850 kilometer pipeline will pass through Canakkale strait
Two top ranking Turkish generals resign ahead of key military meeting: report
PKK terrorists detonate device in Siirt as armored military vehicle passed by
Former second army commander Adem Huduti enters into Turkish Land Forces' service
Ban ki-moon conveys solidarity with Turkey; expects adherence to international obligations in probe of coup attempt
Total of 8,651 military personnel took party in attempted coup, or just 1.5 pct, announces Turkish General Staff
Civilians who rose up against plot meet prime minister in Ankara
Lawmakers will investigate facts surrounding July 15 coup attempt
The paper's ex-staffers are suspected of links to FETO terror organization, accused of plotting July 15 coup attempt
Justice minister says Fetullah Gulen is planning to flee US following extradition request
Main opposition leader urges Pennsylvania-based preacher's extradition from US; supports changes to constitution
Civil servants are suspended over alleged links to Gulenist organization, held responsible for coup attempt