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Erdogan Says Turkey Probing Jet Disappearance; Reports Of Syria Apology

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he cannot confirm a missing Turkish warplane was downed by Syria.

Earlier Turkish media reports had quoted Erdogan as saying Syria had shot down the F-4 jet near the Syrian coast and that Damascus had immediately apologized.

The Turkish military earlier on June 22 announced one of its planes was missing.

Erdogan told a press conference in Ankara: "We've lost a plane and as yet we don't have any information as to what happened and whether it was brought down."

The Turkish premier said he had no word on the fate of the two airmen.

Erdogan spoke to the media before heading into an emergency meeting with top military and intelligence officials.

The meeting had been originally scheduled to discuss attacks by Kurdish rebels and Turkish military retaliation against Kurdish bases in Iraq earlier this week.

Erdogan, who has just returned from a trip to Mexico and Brazil, said a statement might be issued later on June 22 after the emergency meeting.

It was not immediately clear what happened to the crew of the F-4 jet. Erdogan did say Turkey and Syria were working together in a search-and-rescue operation.

The incident with the plane comes amid tense relations between Turkey and Syria.

Turkey has criticized Syria's government for its harsh crackdown on opposition forces during 16 months of fighting in Syria that has left at least 10,000 dead, according to the UN, and Ankara has joined calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

The conflict in Syria has also sent more than 30,000 refugees into Turkey.

Ankara has previously offered to set up a humanitarian corridor inside Syria which would entail a military intervention but said it would need UN approval for such a move.

The reports of the jet mishap within hours of UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Kofi Annan saying that countries with influence should step up the pressure on Syria and rebel groups to end the violence. He added that time was running out for his six-point plan to bring peace to Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters, BBC, AFP, AP, and dpa
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by: RD
June 22, 2012 17:56
Finally, Erdogan has an excuse to take military action against Syria. He is a cheap and vulgar opportunist. What do you expect from Turkey's population? They keep on electing leaders who are inept like Kemal Ataturk and Erdogan, butchers and criminals but they idolize them. I pity you fools.
In Response

by: Bulent from: Istanbul
June 23, 2012 00:54
The 'RD' appears to be yet another conniving Zionist who unsurprisingly appears unaware of tiny Israel's status as the World's premier 'undeclared Terrorist State'. Erdogan is preferable any day to the War Criminal Murderous Bibi. Your propagandistic mindless message above is devoid of substance and full of 'kaka' :-)

by: Anonymous
June 22, 2012 22:11
God bless Turkey.

by: Anonymous
June 22, 2012 22:11
God bless Turkey for bordering monsters such as Russia, Iran, Syria, and Hezbolla

by: Alex from: LA
June 23, 2012 00:10
These rebels are terrorists. Just because we want Assad's regime to disappear and be replaced by muslim brootherhood type of regime. In about 5 years time we will have the right to start a war on these people and have them colonized the modern way. All I know that Assad regime is defending Christians from being slaughtered then I believe he is good Muslim leader for Syria that has significant Christian population. Something our NATO ALLY TURKEY (RFE does a tremendous job to remind its readers every time that TURKEY IS NATO ALLY) loves to do is kill off its Christian populations and say that's my historical lands (of course of someone elses historical land, something USA/UK have very much in common with Turkey.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 24, 2012 09:07
As it has become customary in the last few years, NATO and their friends just end up talking a lot once they got slept into their faces. My prediction is that the same thing will happen here that happened in Korea in 2010: back then the DPRK attacked the territory of South Korea, killing several South-Korean servicemen and civilians. And the reaction of South Korea and of the US was just to stage some military exercises on the inter-Korean border - the exercises that the DPRK could not care less about.
And the same will happen here: the Syrian military - with the Russian air-defense systems - shot down a US-made military airplane of a NATO-member Turkey. And? What's next? Apparently nothing - they will just talk about it for a couple of days, after which the incident will be "forgotten".

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