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.
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.
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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