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LOCAL > 'No war over my son,' father of missing Turkish pilot says

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Ali Erton. DHA photo

Ali Erton. DHA photo

It would not be right for a country to go to war over a pilot, the father of missing pilot Capt. Gökhan Ertan said in regards to the crisis over Syria's downing of a Turkish jet. 

Ertan's father Ali Erton (Ertan changed his surname from Erton) spoke to broadcaster Samanyolu at his residence in the southeastern province of Malatya yesterday.

Turkey is not a country that would go to war because another country killed one of their pilots, according to Erton. “It is not appropriate for a country to go to war over a pilot, an airplane or 50 airplanes,” Erton said. The missing pilot’s father said he was aware of the possibility that his son could have been killed when the plane he was in was shot down by Syria. 

“What matters is that my son serves his country,” Erton said. “I am a man of faith and do not believe martyrs ever die.” 

Osman Aksoy, the father of the second missing pilot Lt. Hüseyin Aksoy, said he talked to his son on June 19, three days before the incident. “We are following the developments on television, and [Hüseyin Aksoy's] brother is keeping us informed from Malatya. We are holding our hopes high,” Aksoy told reporters at his home in Istanbul's Bağcılar district. 

“Such reconnaissance flights were done before too, [and now] our state has given that duty to my son,” Aksoy said

All options for action against Syria were on the table, including the right to military retaliation, the Turkish government said yesterday. The government has vowed to keep its rights stemming from international law reserved.

Two pilots were still missing today after an unarmed Turkish military plane conducting a test mission was shot down by Syria on June 22. Turkey claims the plane was shot down in international airspace with a laser or heat-guided missile. Syria, however, says they shot the plane down with anti-aircraft guns as the plane flew within Syrian airspace at an altitude of 100 meters. 

June/26/2012

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