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.
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A woman who was 9 months pregnant was one of 170 Afghan and Syrian refugees saved by the Turkey Aegean Coast Guard.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul reiterated that Turkey s making tireless efforts in order that peace can be re-established in Syria and suggested to the Syrian refugees living at camps in the country that they take advantage of the amenities and opportunities which the government provides for them in such areas as health and education.
Salih Mirzabeyoglu, otherwise known as Salih Izzet Erdis, was locked up following Turkey's 28 February 1997 coup.
High-speed rail project linking Ankara and Istanbul to be opened on Friday after latest delays blamed on May sabotage.
Turkey's Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said a ceasefire must be declared at once between Palestine and Israel and demanded an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
A major operation in Istanbul and other cities sees more police officers and officials detained in a wiretapping probe.
Erdogan said all international actors should condemn such inhuman attacks of Israel on innocent children in Gaza.
Turkish dailies reported Wednesday on the operation in Istanbul and other cities against the police officers and officials in wiretapping probe and the latest clashes in Israel and Palestine.
Turkish carriers will not fly to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in the next 24 hours.
Tuesday’s phone conversation was the second between the two officials within 24 hours and the third in five days.
Turkish Airlines has decided to suspend its Tel Aviv flights for a 24-hour period
The US again slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks in which he compared Israel’s military attacks on Gaza Strip to the acts of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Muslims can no longer be unified under the rule of a single ruler like a caliph but could emulate political blocs like the European Union, Gormez said
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