President Gül awaits allies’ help on jet hit
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi (L) and Turkish President Abdullah Gül poses before meeting in Ankara yesterday. AP photo
Prominent states that were sensitive on the Syrian issue last year are not showing much awareness this year, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said yesterday. Meanwhile Turkey’s top commander has made it clear that Turkey has no intention of going to war with Syria.
“I call on the international community to be more sensitive on this humanitarian tragedy,” President Abdullah Gül said yesterday speaking in a joint press conference with visiting Beninese President Thomas Yayi Boni.
There is consistency between statements from different Turkish institutions and recordings about the wreckage of the jet on the issue of the downed Turkish jet by Syria, Gül said in answer to questions about whether the jet was shot down by a missile.
The president also called on third countries to publicize any documents that they have regarding the incident, and said there was no bilateral issue, hostility or conflict of interest between Turkey and Syria.
Gül’s remarks follow remarks by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel that Turkey has radar data showing that its jet was downed by Syrian forces in international waters. In separate remarks, a TSK communications officer says precise details of the incident will only be revealed after the conclusion of an inspection of the jet’s main body.
The world will see Turkey’s plan of action on Syria when the country puts it into practice, Özel said.
“It’s not like we will start a war,” Özel said in an interview with daily Akşam which was published on July 9. “But we are following everything very closely. We have every capability of doing so.” Turkey will do “whatever great states do,” he added.
Özel, however, refused to comment on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s claims of not being able to contact any Turkish military official due to political barriers. Özel dismissed the question, stating that he “would not go into political matters.”
In separate remarks, a communications officer from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) addressed why the helmets and boots of Capt. Gökhan Ertan and Lt. Hasan Hüseyin Aksoy were found before the bodies and the rest of the plane’s wreckage.
TSK communications officer Baki Kavun said the items might have become separated due to the crash’s impact and might have been brought to the surface because they can float, daily Milliyet reported on July 9.
Turkish footage shows no missiles hitting the plane, but the investigation into radar records, parts of the jet and other findings are still continuing, Kavun said. The plane had no VTR system recording conversations between the pilots, he said, adding that, alternatively, sea currents might have been responsible for bringing the helmets and boots to the surface.