Turkish FM defends shooting down of Syrian jet
Monday, March 24, 2014
KONYA - 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".
Two Syrian MIG-23 fighter aircrafts approached Turkey's airspace along the Turkish-Syrian border around on Sunday. One of the planes diverted its course after four warnings; however, the other plane violated Turkey's airspace and was shot down by Turkish forces.
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".
Meanwhile, 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.
Davutoglu also commented on the recent ruling by a criminal court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya, sentencing 529 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death.
"This decision reveals the anti-democratic and lawless attitude of the coup regime," Davutoglu said. "If 529 people are sentenced to death in a country, then we have to ask, who is going to answer for the Rabaa al-Adawiya martyrs?"
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