World Bulletin / News Desk
Everyone should know that Turkey's wrath is as strong as its friendship, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, commenting on the downing of a Turkish jet by Syria last Friday.
“However valuable Turkey's friendship is, its wrath is just as strong. Don't take our common sense and cautious approach as a sign of passivity,” Erdoğan said on Tuesday during his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting.
Bringing tensions with Syria to a whole new level, Turkey said on Sunday that its military jet was shot down outside of Syrian territorial waters and dismissed the country's statements that it was not a hostile act.
Stating that Turkey is totally in the right over “the downing of an unarmed reconnaissance jet in international airspace,” Erdoğan underlined that the Turkish jet was targeted in international waters but fell in Syrian waters. “There are some circles both inside and outside Turkey who are trying to distort this fact,” he said.
He added that the Turkish jet violated Syria's airspace mistakenly and briefly, but had been warned by Turkish radio operators and shortly left Syrian airspace. “Radar findings are all clear. They downed a reconnaissance jet that was on a solo test flight,” he said. “This is a hostile act.”
Stating that the downing of the jet by Syria has nothing to do with a violation of Syria's airspace, Erdoğan said Turkey's airspace has been violated by other countries 114 times since January 1 of this year. “Syrian helicopters also violated our air space five times recently. We warned them to leave. Syria's position is also clear evidence that our jet was hit in a hostile act. Syria attacked the second rescue plane with harassing fire and this is proof that the act was deliberate,” he added.
“The plane that was downed was not the plane of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or the AK Party. But it was Turkey's plane shot down in international airspace,” an angry Erdoğan said. He urged Turkish political parties to avoid seeking excuses for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration and to side with the government on this “national issue.”
Erdoğan also lashed out at the Syrian administration and reiterated support for the Syrian opposition. “The Syrian administration is tyrannical and not just,” he said. “Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime is in place.”
“Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime arrives,” he added. “We will offer all the possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” Erdoğan said.
Stating that the jet attack opened a new phase in the Turkish and Syrian relations, he said “it is now clear that Assad regime has become a threat to Turkey's security.”
Noting that from now on Turkey will not tolerate to any menacing threat from the Syrian side anymore, he said any approaching military offensive from the Syrian side will be regarded as a threatening target for Turkish army. He noted that the Turkish army will be put on alert regarding any threat from the Syrian side and that all targets will be considered as such.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Haziran 2012, 13:27