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INTERNATIONAL > NATO condemnation to be sought over hit jet

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

As NATO convenes with the agenda of Syria’s shooting of Turkey’s plane, Ankara seeks strong messages of solidarity and condemnation from the body

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Tukish cameraman record the search and rescue operations in Hatay coast as Turkey sent additional vessels to the eastern Mediterranean. AA photo

Tukish cameraman record the search and rescue operations in Hatay coast as Turkey sent additional vessels to the eastern Mediterranean. AA photo

Sevil Erkuş Sevil Erkuş sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr

Turkey seeks strong messages of solidarity and condemnation from NATO against Syria at today’s meeting, with demands from allies to provide technical assistance for further investigation into the incident. Turkey in particular demands radar tracks and other sorts of evidence from American and British military bases located in the region, especially from Britain’s bases in south Cyprus.

The NATO allies will gather in Brussels at Turkey’s urgent call under Article 4 of the treaty which stipulates consultation between members if one of the members believes its territorial integrity, political independence and national security is threatened.

According to information the Hürriyet Daily News gathered from diplomatic sources, detailed technical information will be represented during permanent representatives’ meeting at the NATO headquarters.

A statement is expected to be issued after the meeting similar to those which have come from some member countries in the last 24 hours.

Today’s NATO meeting is the beginning of a comprehensive campaign to make the issue of the downed Turkish jet an international matter. The issue will be brought up to the United Nations and some other relevant bodies as well. The Arab League and Organization of Islamic Conference are other venues Turkey plans to apply to.

Following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s outlining of Turkey’s position in a speech he is scheduled to make today, Turkey will continue to mull over some further measures during the National Security Council meeting to be held later in the week on June 28.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu talked to his Moroccan and Chinese counterparts on Monday to inform them about recent developments.

At a moment when Syria continues to challenge Turkey’s version of the downing of the F-4 Phantom Turkey has no heart to go into polemics with Syria over radar data.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi insisted that the Turkish jet flying at an altitude of 100 meters, or 330 feet, inside Syrian airspace was “a clear breach of Syrian sovereignty.” Turkish diplomats, meanwhile, declined to comment over the spokesman’s remarks, and said they did not want to enter into an argument since radar data from both Turkey and Syria was accurate and displaying the truth.

Ankara doesn’t ask for apology, compensation

Turkey has not asked Syria for an apology and compensation over the downing of a Turkish military plane, a Turkish official told the Daily News yesterday, stressing that if Syria would go into such a process, it should do so without request as it did in 1989 when it shot down a Turkish plane and paid $3.43 million in compensation over one years time. In the meantime, Turkish Air Forces Commander Mehmet Erten and Davutoğlu informed President Abdullah Gül separately on Monday.

June/26/2012

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