Turkey finds pilots' bodies from jet downed by Syria

Ankara has scrambled F-16 fighter jets on three consecutive days in the past week after it spotted Syrian transport helicopters.

By REUTERS
July 4, 2012 16:29
1 minute read.
Turkish F-4 fighter jets

Turkish F-4 fighter jets 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer Turkey)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

ANKARA - Turkey's armed forces command said on Wednesday it had found the bodies of both pilots of an F-4 jet shot down by Syria last month and was trying to retrieve them from the seabed.

Relations between Ankara and Damascus hit a new low after Syria shot down the Turkish reconnaissance plane over the Mediterranean on June 22, prompting a sharp rebuke from Turkey, which said it would respond "decisively".

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Syria says it downed the jet in self-defense when it was inside Syrian airspace. Turkey says the plane accidentally violated Syrian airspace for a few minutes but was later brought down in international airspace.

The military has been searching for the pilots and this week brought in a specialized ship to recover the wreckage of their plane, some 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) underwater.

It named the pilots as Air Force Captain Gokhan Ertan and Air Force Lieutenant Hasan Huseyin Aksoy. The military did not specify where the bodies were found, but there has been no report that the pilots ejected from the plane.

Turkey has heightened military activity along its border with Syria since the incident and scrambled F-16 fighter jets on three consecutive days in the past week after it spotted Syrian transport helicopters flying near the Turkish border.

Ankara has said the shooting down would not go "unpunished" and summoned a meeting of its NATO allies shortly after the incident, but it has not retaliated. Both Syria and Turkey have said they do not want the incident to lead to an armed conflict.



In an interview with Turkish paper Cumhuriyet published on Tuesday, Assad said he wished his forces had not shot the jet down, repeating Damascus's position they had not known the identity of the plane at the time.

Turkey dismisses this assertion, saying the plane was unarmed, was not hiding its identity and was attacked without warning.

Related Content

August 20, 2018
Erdogan invokes patriotism, Islam as lira remains under pressure

By REUTERS