Gül gives orders to locate remains of pilot from 1996 crash

July 19, 2012, Thursday/ 12:59:00

President Abdullah Gül has given orders to recover the remains of an F-16 jet pilot whose body has been in the waters of the Aegean for 16 years, since his aircraft was shot down in a dogfight with Greek fighter jets.

Gül's move comes shortly after research boat Nautilus was able to locate the wreckage of a Turkish reconnaissance jet believed to have been downed by Syria. Along with the wreckage Nautilus located and recovered the bodies of the two pilots last week. This has given new hope to the family of F-16 pilot Capt. Nail Erdoğan, whose plane crashed over the Aegean on Oct. 8, 1996.

His daughter, Evrim Erdoğan, who is 23 today, said: “Nautilus was able to pull the bodies of our two pilots from the Mediterranean. It should also find the remains of my father, who became a martyr 16 years ago.”

The Hürriyet daily reported on Thursday that Gül had responded positively to the young woman's call and ordered the chief of General Staff to recover the remains of Capt. Erdoğan, located 400 meters under the sea a few miles off the coast of the island of Samos.

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