World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that a Syrian plane intercepted on its way from Moscow to Damascus was carrying ammunition to Syria.
The ammunition was sent by a Russian corporation similar to Turkey's Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKE) to Syrian defense ministry, Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Ankara.
Erdogan said that carrying the equipment belonging to the defense industry by passenger planes was forbidden in accordance with civil aviation rules.
"Relavant units are examining the equipment," he said.
Erdogan declined to give the source of the intelligence obtained by Turkey on the presence of non-civilian cargo on the plane.
He also dismissed claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin delayed an upcoming visit to Turkey due to the incident. Erdogan said he and Putin held a phone conversation four days ago and the date of the visit was finally determined by officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and their Russian counterparts.
The Syrian plane was forced to land while enroute to Damascus from Moscow with 37 passengers, 17 of whom a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said were Russian nationals.
Turkish authorities confiscated part of the cargo aboard the Airbus A320 of the Syrian Arab Airlines for examination.
Turkey has yet to provide detailed information on what the contents of the confiscated cargo were but Turkish media reports have said the impounded cargo contained radio receivers, antennas and "equipment that are thought to be missile parts."
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the cargo contained "elements which are contrary to civilian aviation rules."
The grounding of the Syrian plane further escalated tensions between Turkey and its southern neighbor who have exchanged artillery and mortar fire since last Wednesday when a stray Syrian shell landed on Turkey's Akcakale town, killing two women and three children.
Turkey has been building up troops, tanks and anti-aircraft missiles along the Syrian border since the deadly Syrian shelling as well as reinforcing war planes at a base in nearby Diyarbakir province.
Consignment, which arrived Sunday, includes six fully-equipped ambulances
World Heritage Committee approve Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens in southeastern Turkey on the list
Sources claim that senior Israeli and Turkish officials have held a secret meeting in Rome to renew talks on a reconciliation agreement between the two nations
The ambassador to the US, John Bass, has shared his concerns with Turkey regarding the territorial integrity of Syria and has said that Turkey should open SEast airbases
The public prosecutors office has sought life sentences for the suspects that violated Turkey’s national security in 2014 when they searched Turkish intelligence trucks in Adana en route to Syria
Turkey on Friday reappointed a former defence minister after his successor was elected as parliamentary speaker.
Turkish newspapers on Friday report on possible coalition scenarios in Turkey, Greece’s bailout referendum
The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu has said that he will not peculation about Turkish military action in Syria, saying country will not be put at risk
Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline will have significant effect on economies involved, SOCAR Turkey CEO Kenan Yavuz told
A Syrian refugee has set himself on fire to protest his 15 year old sons abduction by the PKK.
Turkish dailies on Thursday report on the Turkish parliamentary speaker election, Greek debt crisis
Thousands take to streets all over Turkey to protest China's alleged ban on Muslims fasting during Ramadan
Foreign Ministry statement offers sympathy to victims' families
Turkish AK party candidate has been elected Turkish parliament speaker
Turkish police have detained 7 people suspected of being part of ISIL