World Bulletin/News Desk
The incident over the Black Sea on Wednesday in which Turkish F-16 jets pursued a Russian military aircraft flying near Turkish airspace must not be assessed as a sign of tension between the countries, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday.
Davutoglu explained the Russian aircraft was conducting a drill in accordance with international law, and the pursuit by Turkish F-16s was merely an automatic response toward objects approaching airspace.
Davutoglu responded to questions during a press conference at the ministry in Ankara with his Bulgarian counterpart Kristian Vigenin.
“Sometimes such measures are taken between nations amid these types of exercises... there is no reason to blow this case out of proportion,” he said.
Regarding recent claims that Greek coast guard boats intervened in Turkish boats in the waters of the Kardak islands, Davutoglu said sometimes undesired developments could arise over such issues in the Aegean Sea.
Greece and Turkey experienced a military crisis and dispute over the Kardak islands in 1996.
“Relevant units are following the case. As always, our channels are available to openly talk with Greece and express our concerns,” Davutoglu stated.
On the other hand, diplomatic sources addressing the incident refuted the claims of an intervention on the boats participating in a yacht race in the region, and said the Coast Guard had been contacted. According to sources, a Greek Coast Guard boat returned to Greece's territorial waters after being warned by a Turkish Coast Guard boat in accordance with usual procedure upon entering the Kardak territorial waters. There was reportedly no intervention of any kind on the yachts.Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2013, 17:05