News / Europe

Erdogan Warns Damascus of Turkey's 'Wrath'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing lawmakers at parliament, Ankara, June 26, 2012.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing lawmakers at parliament, Ankara, June 26, 2012.
Dorian Jones
ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ratcheting up the pressure on Syria over the shooting down of a Turkish military plane on Friday. Addressing parliament Tuesday, he launched a stinging attack on Syria's rulers, declaring the country "a clear and present danger" and warning Damascus of the "wrath of Turkey."

"Any military element from Syria moving too close to the Turkish border that is deemed a security risk will be seen as a threat and will be a military target," he said, announcing new rules of engagement for the Turkish army. "I am warning Syria it shouldn't make any mistake and test Turkey."

It remains unclear how Turkish military officials define "too close," but analysts say potential for confrontation is high with Syrian forces increasingly moving closer to the Turkish border to curtail the smuggling of arms to the Free Syrian Army rebels.

In April, Syrian forces killed two people in Turkish territory while pursuing Syrian rebels. Until now the Turkish army has been under strict rules to avoid confrontation with Syrian forces. But the downing of a Turkish military plane Friday by Syria has changed that policy.

During his address, Erdogan reiterated that the plane was shot down without warning and over international waters, a claim disputed by Damascus. The Turkish prime minister said Syria will pay a high price, although he emphasized he is not looking for war.

"Turkey knows what it will do very well. We won't fall into the trap of war provocateurs," he said. "But we are not a country to sit by after the downing of our plane. We will keep our determination."

Erdogan also said Turkey will provide full support to the Syrian people until they "are relieved of this dictator," referring to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

In Brussels Tuesday, NATO expressed its condemnation of Syria's action and voiced strong support for Turkey.

Syria insists the F-4 Phantom jet was shot down inside Syrian airspace.

The plane crashed into the eastern Mediterranean and its two pilots are missing.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
June 27, 2012 5:05 PM
Erdogan, please don't fool yourself. NATO will not be used by you to do any stupid thing like you are doing -- provoking Syria.

by: Anonymous
June 27, 2012 5:03 PM
Erdogan is a clown. He is fawning western countries by provoking Syria frequently. Any country will protect themselves when enemies' jets are coming to their airspace or border. Support Syria's action!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by: Anonymous
June 27, 2012 4:53 PM
Turkey is trying to show off and fawn western countries by provoking its islamic brother - Syria that is not pro-western countries.

by: Nonamed from: Turkey
June 27, 2012 4:52 AM
Turkey's jet was shot in international air zone.It accidentally had gone in Syrian air zone for ten minutes. Because of this, In this situation Turkey is right

by: Anonymous
June 26, 2012 2:31 PM
This is the best news other than the recent defectors. I think it is great that Turkey isn't putting up with any more bullcrap from the Syrian "Assad" regime. It's going to fall anyways, and it is just a matter of short time. That's all Syria needs now is a war, they would entirely crumble even faster.

by: AfriSynergy from: USA
June 26, 2012 1:10 PM
The jet was definitely in Syria airspace, and it was most likely a drone plane without any pilots. Notice no faces or names of these phantom pilots after several days.

In Response

by: Anonymous
June 26, 2012 2:30 PM
No it wasn't in Syrian airspace, check your facts.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs