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.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci reacts to German leader's statement about updating Turkey-EU customs deal
Turkish president calls on Germany-based Turks not to vote for 'hostile' CDU, SPD, Greens in September elections
Over 3,000 new foreign-partnered companies established in Turkey in first seven months of 2017
Turkish General Staff says 7 soldiers were also martyred in operations between Aug. 10-17
Turkish stocks fall 0.41 percent as US dollar/Turkish lira rate rises to 3.52
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a condolence letter to the Spanish King Felipe VI
Presidential spokesman says Ankara hopes Berlin will investigate reports claiming coup suspect Adil Oksuz is in Germany
Transport minister says every tunnel, bridge and structure is being built keeping in mind possible earthquake
Refugees, Turkish host communities to acquire working skills in $1.7-million project backed by Turkish agriculture ministry
German leader's hard line on updating Turkey-EU customs deal meets criticism in Ankara
Deposit banks see their profits reach $4.81 billion
BIST 100 index rises 0.51 percent as US dollar/Turkish lira rate falls to 3.52
"This nation gave you your lesson, and you will take your lessons again," says Binali Yildirim
Security forces give daily tally of foreigners attempting crossing from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Greece