World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish forces did what was necessary in accordance with previous engagement rules when they shot down a Syrian jet plane for violating their air space, according to Turkey's President Abdullah Gul.
“The Turkish security force protected Turkey’s border successfully, but the Turkish armed forces are still on alert,” said Gul on Monday in The Hague. “These are national issues and out of politics,” he added.
Gul underlined that Turkey had demonstrated its resolution and determination to protect its borders. The Turkish president was in The Hague to attend Nuclear Security Summit and met with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto on Monday.
Gul also congratulated the Turkish Chief of Staff and the pilots of the Turkish Armed Forces who shot down the Syrian plane.
Two Syrian jet planes approached Turkey's airspace along the Turkish-Syrian border on Sunday. One of the planes diverted its course after a warning by Turkish F-16 pilots while the other plane violated Turkey's airspace by 7-to-8 miles and was shot down.
Turkish FM defends shooting down of Syrian jet
Any violation against Turkey's airspace is not tolerated and will be responded to, said Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu commenting on the Syrian fighter plane shot down by Turkish forces on Sunday.
Responding to journalists questions on Monday in Konya, Davutoglu said there had been a clear violation of Turkish airspace and Turkey would react the same way if this kind of a violation happens again.
"We hope Syria will never dare to do something like this ever," said Davutoglu. "Peace requires determination and Turkey's determination is indisputable".
Davutoglu also said he talked with UN and NATO's Secretary Generals. "They told me that they are with Turkey" he added.
Davutoglu also criticized media organs that questioned the timing of the incident said it cannot be seen as an "election manoeuvre". Davutoglu also blamed the media organs for "being a spokeperson for Assad regime" and called them "evil-minded".
Crisis desk for Turkish territory in northern Syria
Davutoglu commented on reported threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to Turkey to lower its flag on the Suleyman Shah Tomb - sovereign Turkish territory in Syria - within three days. Davutoglu said the situation in the area is stable, a crisis desk had been setup and Turkey closely follows the developments in the area.
The tomb of Suleyman Shah, (grandfather of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire), and the surrounding area, in Aleppo's Manbij district, is the only Turkish territory outside its borders and protected by Turkish soldiers.
"Any interference to the tomb will be regarded as an interference to Turkish land and we will act accordingly" said Davutoglu. "This recent event shows anything can happen in the area and Turkish forces are ready for any scenario".
The tomb and the surrounding area, in Aleppo's Manbij district, is the only Turkish territory outside of its borders and protected by Turkish soldiers. ISIL has recently taken the control of a town near Suleyman Shah town.Last Mod: 24 Mart 2014, 17:32