Politics, religion, and culture where East meets West

The “jet crisis”

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The big news in Turkey in the last few days has been the jet krizi. As far as the story goes, the only thing that everyone can agree on is that a Turkish F-4 Phantom was shot down somewhere close to Syria. Of course, the word on the street in Turkey is that it was the fault of “international Jewry,” the United States, or—as I heard from one ornery fellow—the French.

From what I saw of the initial reports on the incident (even in Turkish papers), there was little apparent distress, and a lot of the word “apology.” Here’s an early example from four days ago:

“At this moment the air force and navy are conducting search and rescue operations in the western Mediterranean and luckily our pilots are alive, we have just lost a plane,” [Erdoğan] told journalists while travelling back from Brazil

There was an apology from Syria, it seemed, and nobody doubted its sincerity. It could have been worse, they seemed to think. But this is from today’s Hürriyet (here):

The Turkish government said that all options against Syria were on the table, including the right to military retaliation, also vowing to keep its rights stemming from international law reserved.

“Turkey will protect itself within international law,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said following a Cabinet meeting, adding that Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet could not be left unpunished.

“Syria shot down our unarmed jet in a cold-blooded and hostile way in international airspace. International law is on our side. Turkey will not hesitate to take its steps to this end,” Arınç told reporters at a press conference.

More from the Hürriyet (here):

Syria has come to constitute a “clear and present danger” for Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, adding that all military elements approaching the Turkish border from Syria would be considered “a threat” from now on. 

The Turkish Armed Forces has changed its rules of engagement in the wake of the crisis, Erdoğan said. “The Turkish military will retaliate against border violations by Syria.”

And the icing on the cake—this is from from the New York Times today (in direct contradiction to several of the early reports—here):

The two crewmen are still missing.

Written by M. James

June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

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