Claiming a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 violated Turkish airspace, the Turkish government sent for the Russian ambassador to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and issued a severe warning of further transgressions of its airspace.
“We are making a clear call to the Russian Federation not to violate Turkish airspace, which is also NATO airspace. We are emphasizing once again that the unwanted consequences of such irresponsible behavior will belong fully to the Russian Federation,” a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry read.
Responding to Ankara’s claim, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General-General Igor Konashenkov described the charge as “pure propaganda.”
Konashenkov further related Turkish radar systems cannot distinguish type or origin of aircraft and no warnings had been issued from Turkey.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed support for Turkey’s version of events and recommended Moscow establish a protocol where its aircraft avoid further conflicts with Turkish airspace.
In a comparable November 2015 incident, where Turkish F-16 aircraft downed a Russian Su-24 attack bomber with the loss of one aircrew, the Kremlin responded with sanctions against Ankara and the two nations have witnessed relations deteriorate.
Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan, is a man of no imagination.
This is the consequence of a lack of tactful liaise between Ankara and the Kremlin. Had Turkey and Russia extended and deepened an arrangement to attain the mutual goal of vanquishing ISIS brutality, no such disharmony would exist.
The basic conceit of Ankara’s argument is Russia’s presence in the Middle East is an undisguised attempt to acquire undisputed mastery over the skies in the region.
Nothing is further from the truth.
While Turkey is entirely justified in safeguarding its preserve, Ankara may want to embrace the method of Israeli diplomacy, which recognizes Russia’s effort to crush ISIS and presumes it natural for an occasional violation of Israeli airspace to occur with combat operations carried out against ISIS demons in neighboring Syria.
While Russia is not without blame, Turkey has dismissed calls from NATO members to contribute more toward the fight against ISIS. Instead, Ankara has harnessed the struggle against the Islamic State as a diversion to execute a campaign against the Kurdish people.
The collaboration between the Kremlin and Jerusalem should serve as an example for Ankara.
[Reuters] [RT News] [Tass] [DefenseNews.com] [nationalinterest.org] [Photo courtesy sigmalive.com]