Journalist Fatih Altaylı, who was traveling with Erdoğan from Brazil to İstanbul, said on Habertürk TV that journalists had asked Erdoğan if he was aware of a Turkish fighter jet that had gone missing near Syrian territorial waters. Erdoğan replied that he was aware of the fact but that he was informed that the pilots are safe.
Erdoğan then said Turkish naval and land forces are currently conducting search and rescue operations in the eastern Mediterranean. He said he does not think Syrian security forces had detained the Turkish pilots.
According to Altaylı, Erdoğan said Syria had immediately offered a “serious apology” over the incident and expressed its sorrow. He said Syria told the Turkish side that “it was a mistake,” without elaborating on if the Syrian side was responsible for the incident.
When asked by the journalists if this incident would spark a “big crisis,” Erdoğan said, “We shall wait and see.”