Turkish Cabinet convenes to discuss measures after jet attack
Turkish ministers are seen during a Cabinet meeting in this July 2011 photo. (Photo: AA)
The Turkish Cabinet has convened for a critical meeting to discuss what measures Turkey should take in the wake of the downing of a Turkish jet in international airspace by Syria on Friday.
Unlike other Cabinet meetings, Air Forces Command Operations Unit head Maj. Gen. Ateş Mehmet İrez is also attending the meeting, which began on Monday afternoon. The meeting is intended to brief ministers on Friday's incident.
The Cabinet is expected to discuss what measures Turkey will take in response to Syria's downing of an F4 fighter jet. Government spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç is expected to call a press conference following the meeting.
Bringing tensions with Syria to a whole new level, Turkey said on Sunday that its military jet was shot down outside of Syrian territorial waters and dismissed the country's statements that it was not a hostile act. Ankara is also taking the dispute to NATO.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking in an interview with state broadcaster the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), said he would formally present the incident to NATO this week and invoke Article 4 of its founding treaty, which provides for states to “consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”
Soon after Davutoğlu's announcement on Sunday, NATO said envoys from member states will meet on Tuesday at Turkey's request for consultations concerning the downing of its military jet.
Turkish authorities also said search and rescue teams had located the wreckage of the plane 1,300 meters beneath the sea surface, adding that efforts are still under way to locate two missing pilots.