News / Middle East

Turkey Says Syrian Plane Contained Ammunition

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan (Sept 2012 file photo)Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan (Sept 2012 file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan (Sept 2012 file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan (Sept 2012 file photo)
VOA News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the cargo Turkey seized from a Syrian passenger plane that was forced to land in Ankara contained military equipment and ammunition destined for Syria's government.

Erdogan told reporters Thursday that a Russian supplier had provided the illicit cargo.  He did not elaborate on where Turkey received the intelligence or who in Russia had provided the materials.  Earlier, Syrian officials had denied the plane was carrying any military cargo.

Turkish military jets forced the plane to land late Wednesday in the Turkish capital on suspicion that it was carrying weapons from Russia to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.  A crew member on the plane said Turkish authorities handcuffed them and made them lay on the ground when searching the plane.

The Syrian Air flight was allowed to complete its trip to Syria early Thursday, after Turkey confiscated what it called illicit cargo.

Syria responded strongly to the forced landing and cargo seizure Thursday, saying Turkey's decision was "hostile and reprehensible" and that it amounted to piracy.

Russia, a top ally of Assad, demanded an explanation from Turkey Thursday, saying its actions threatened the lives and safety of the passengers on board, which included 17 Russian citizens.  Reuters reported that Russia's ambassador in Turkey was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday.

Turkish troops have repeatedly shelled Syrian military targets in recent days in response to Syrian artillery rounds that landed just inside Turkey.

Turkish military chief General Necdet Ozel said Wednesday that his forces will respond with "greater force" if Syrian shelling continues to spill across the border. He was speaking on a visit to the Turkish border village of Akcakale, where Syrian artillery killed five Turkish civilians last week.

Syria's President Assad has been fighting a 19-month uprising against his rule that has killed tens of thousands of people.

  • A Syrian youth holds a child wounded by Syrian Army shelling near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, October 11, 2012.
  • A Syrian volunteer carries a child wounded by Syrian Army shelling at Dar al-Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, October 11, 2012.
  • Turkish soldiers in a military vehicle patrol the Turkish-Syrian border near the village of Hacipasa in Hatay province, Turkey October 11, 2012.
  • Smoke, caused by mortar bombs and gunfire during clashes between the Syrian Army and rebels, rises from the Syrian border town of Azmarin as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border near the village of Hacipasa in Hatay province October 11, 2012.
  • A Turkish armored personnel carrier drives out of a military border post on the Turkish-Syrian border near the village of Hacipasa in Hatay province, southern Turkey, October 9, 2012.
  • A photo from Syria's national news agency SANA shows the wreckage of a bus after a bomb exploded in al-Zablatani, in Damascus, Syria, October 9, 2012.
  • Children play on a destroyed armored personnel carrier belonging to forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Azaz, in northern Syria near the border with Turkey, October 8, 2012.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network shows Free Syrian Army fighters on top of a military truck that was captured from the Syrian Army, Khirbet al-Jouz, Idlib, Syria, October 7, 2012.
  • Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at Hanano barracks after clashes with Free Syrian Army forces, Aleppo, Syria, October 7, 2012.
  • This handout photo from Syria's national news agency SANA shows cars after an explosion near police headquarters in Damascus, Syria, October 7, 2012.
  • A Syrian boy, who fled his home with his family due to fighting between government forces and rebels, plays near his tent at a refugee camp near the Turkish border, Azaz, Syria, October 7, 2012.
  • A resident holds a rifle next to a member of the Free Syrian Army at Al-Lujat, near Dara, October 7, 2012.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
October 12, 2012 6:01 PM
Turkish government needs to stop pushing this Syrian misadventure further. Turks do not benifit from this, neither do the Syrian people. Such blind leader like Erdogan the world hasn't seen since Dubya.

by: Anonymous
October 12, 2012 2:00 PM
Funny some people refer to Assad as a government. He is a dictator that nobody in the country wants. Assad is a tyrant and generations of his family have performed the exact same genocide, however Assad has inflicted the most. Just like his daddy did, tried killing everyone who objected to his dictatorship. Assad has killed tens of thousands of people, nobody this day and age gets away with that, his time is coming...

by: JawedButt
October 12, 2012 4:57 AM
who is providing amunition to syrian to fight against their Govt?

by: Ferhat from: Turkey
October 11, 2012 7:05 PM
Russia should really stop sending arms to a bloodthirsty dictator Assad. There are already more than 800,000 refugees running away from the indiscriminate shelling and bombing by Assad's forces. Why doesn't Assad just step down? If he really cares for his people instead of his own neck, he should step down and let the Syrian people choose their next leader.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
October 11, 2012 6:44 PM
Turkey should exhibit the captured weapons from the Russian plane passing through Turkey's airpspace to Syria. Turkey should post the pictures of the weapons captured from the plane for the world to know. Any country has the right to intercept any airplane passing through its territory with military equipment without permission. Whether there is civil war or not in Syria, Turkey has the right to intercept the airplane on suspecion of transporting the military equipments to the ruthless government of Syria. Turkey should ban all Russian and syrian flights through its airspace.

Bashar al Assad is the only dictator in the history of mankind that is bombing its own people using military aircrafts. Russia and China are the only two other countriies that used tanks against its own people and these countries are the suporters of Bashar Al Assad. More than 30,000 lives lost is enough bloodshed for continuing the dictatorship of Bahar al Assad. There is no dictator in modern history who sacrificed more than 30,000 people to survive the public demand for resignation of the dictator. Bashar al Assad does not get any cue of what happened to Gadaffi of Syria and Mubarak of Egypt. His days are numbered.
In Response

by: Mert from: Sydney
October 12, 2012 8:34 PM
@Nikos: Oh put a sock in it Nikos you bigot. In the 60s Turkey warned Cyprus, Greece and the UK that it will one day have to intervene if the violence by the EOKA terror group did not stop. EOKA as you know was a terror group that targeted British civilians and then Turkish Cypriot civilians when EOKA took power backed by the junta Greek dictatorship Turkey finally had enough and intervened in 1974.

The same parallels are happening today were Turkey is warning the world that it will come a time when it will not be able to stomach anymore. Your post is absolutely disgusting and reeks of islamaphobia when in reality your nation of Cyprus is run by one incompetent after another (currently a communist is at the helm) unable to accept blame for what they did in the past therefore no solution & guess what Nikos since 1974 due to Turkey's intervention there has been no ethnic tension flare up.

On another note why do you Cypriots today run a propaganda blaming the USA for your actions during the 60s? They did not tell you people to start killing civilians back in the 60s your nation's immature actions stink of hypocrisy and passing the buck onto another & is a strong indication of anti-Americanism.

Pray to god not for hate filled reasons Nikos but for peace and forgiveness.
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 12, 2012 7:38 PM

You are no different than the Turks you call Nazis with such much hatred in your heart.
God give you patience during hard economic times in Greece.
In Response

by: Nikos from: Greece
October 12, 2012 4:18 AM
"Davis" don't hold your breath... Turkey is founded on Islamic lies, despicable treachery, and brutal treatments of minorities... they still claim that the overt supply of material support to a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel was a "peace flotilla..." while they are occupying my homeland - Cyprus

God, I hope Russia will teach these despicable filth a lesson they will never forget... I pray to God that Russia the great bear will devour this Nazi ally and break their backs

by: Mahdi
October 11, 2012 4:58 PM
Bravo turkey for airplane seizing.weldone

by: mert from: turkey
October 11, 2012 4:17 PM
if turkish government want to attack to Syria, government can occupy but we are for peace..

by: Nazarbyev from: Russia
October 11, 2012 2:24 PM
Turkies, you have had your last warning from us...

by: Dr. Malek Towghi (Baluch from: E. Lansing, MI, USA
October 11, 2012 1:49 PM
The paranoid Neo-Ottomans are indulging in highway robbery following the examples of their 16th-18th century Ottoman predecessors who in turn had followed the model of their 'ideal' robbers of the 7th-8th century.
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 11, 2012 9:50 PM
Is your title of Dr in the field of discrimination?
In Response

by: Anonymous
October 11, 2012 4:14 PM
We have no indulging to anything. You do not know something about us my friend...

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