Syrian plane had ‘illegal cargo’: Turkish FM
AA PhotoIn his first statement after Syrian airplane flying from Moscow to Damascus was forced to land in Ankara Esenboğa Airport, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the move was the result of an intelligence received that the plane’s cargo included some material in violation of the international civil aviation rules.
“It was not just an ordinary rumor or intelligence. There was also some evidence,” Davutoğlu told in an interview with the TGRT TV today.
Recalling that Turkey had already declared that it will not allow any military plane or cargo plane carrying arms to Syria to use the Turkish airspace, Davutoğlu said, however, it was the first time that a civilian plane was forced to land, but declined to comment about what material was believed to be in its cargo.
“Relevant rules of the international law will be applied if illegal material is found,” he said. “We are determined not to allow arms supply via Turkish airspace to a regime restoring cruelty against its own people. Trying to do so by using our airspace is unacceptable.”
Davutoğlu said it was not important from where the plane took off, hinting that the situation will not affect Ankara-Moscow relations. “Responsibility belongs to the country that owns the plane,” he said, dismissing the rumors over the coincidence that the incident happened the very same day Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey was canceled.
Turkish planes will not use Syrian airspace
Davutoğlu said he informed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the incident, adding that Erdoğan instructed all civilian Turkish planes not to use Syrian airspace any longer on the grounds that Syrian air space was not secure for Turkish planes.