World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey ordered an Armenian plane flying to the Syrian city of Aleppo to land and searched its cargo on Monday, in the latest move to prevent its airspace being used to supply the Syrian military.
The plane was allowed to continue on its way after the search in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum confirmed it was carrying humanitarian aid as stated by Armenian officials, a Turkish deputy prime minister said.
Last Wednesday Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner that had come from Moscow, and said it had found Russian munitions on board destined for Syria's armed forces.
NATO-member Turkey has become increasingly assertive in challenging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the face of growing tensions along the border and banned all Syrian aircraft from its airspace in the wake of that incident.
"The plane was ordered to land and it was inspected. It was clear that the declaration was correct and the plane was given permission to take off," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Turkey had the sovereign right under the Chicago convention on civil aviation to require planes crossing its airspace to make a "technical landing" but did not say whether this right would be exercised in future.
Armenia confirmed it had known the plane would be searched.
"The landing of the airplane in Turkey was planned and it was carried out according to a previously reached agreement. The airplane is delivering humanitarian aid to Syria," Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said.
Last week's decision to force down and search the Syrian plane travelling from Russia infuriated Moscow and Damascus.
Russia has said there were no weapons on the plane and that it was carrying a legal cargo of radar equipment. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said the incident would not hurt the countries' "solid" relations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at the weekend that Turkish airspace had been closed to Syrian planes. Syria has also banned Turkish planes from flying over its territory.
The confrontation between Turkey and Syria has escalated in the last two weeks because of cross-border shelling, with Ankara retaliating after five Turkish civilians were killed when a Syrian shell hit a Turkish border town.
The bloodshed inside Syria has worsened markedly in the past two months although neither government nor rebels have been able to gain a decisive advantage.
The increased conflict has fuelled further refugee flows across Syria's borders, with many fleeing to Turkey.
The Turkish disaster management agency (AFAD) said on Monday there were now 100,363 Syrians at more than a dozen camps.
Turkey has said it will struggle to accommodate more than 100,000 and has urged the United Nations to build refugee camps in a safe zone within Syria's borders.
A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry urged the United States to respect press freedom.
An "anti-terrorism" campaign -- focusing on East Turkestan (Xinjiang), home to the Turkic Uighur Muslim ethnic group -- was launched by China’s central government May 23.
Turkish dailies reported Wednesday clashes over the demolition of a statue to a PKK founder, indications that Turkey's foreign minister could take over the prime ministerial post and protests over the death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri, the U.S.
Outgoing Turkish President Gul said 'As far as it seems, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will take over as prime minister'
Turkey's year-end growth forecast increased to 2.7 percent, senior economist says.
The Eritrean capital Asmara becomes Turkish national flag-carrier's 42nd destination in Africa
One person has been confirmed dead after clashes broke out when security forces arrived to remove an illegal statue of a PKK leader.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz called for the lifting of an Israeli blockade so power can be delivered to Palestinians.
Currently it is estimated that there are almost a million Syrian refugees in Turkey, about 70 percent of whom live outside the refugee camps.
Turkish dailies on Tuesday reported on the claims that Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been spying on Turkey and protests over the death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri, U.S.
Twenty out of 32 suspects accused of conducting illegal wiretapping detained in Izmir, Istanbul and Yalova.
A UN report also asserted that Ethiopia's low level of economic development, coupled with a heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and high population growth, made the country particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Republican People's Party deputy group chairman Muharrem Ince has announced his intention to stand for the leadership of the party.
The latest ship loaded with northern Iraqi oil left a Turkish port as the amount of oil pumped to Turkey from northern Iraq reached 7.8 million barrels.
Turkey summoned the German ambassador in Ankara over a report that Germany's BND intelligence agency had been spying on its NATO ally for years
Turkish dailies covered German intelligence spying on Turkey and the tragic plight of the Ezidis in Iraq.