Scene behind Turkish-Russian tension through war jet crisis

Close ties between Turkey, Russia at risk after Turkey downed Russian war jet for violating its airspace

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Nov 26, 2015

In recent years, Turkey and Russia had improved relations more than ever in their history and hadn’t let any tension between each other until Turkey’s downing a Russian war jet on Tuesday after it violated Turkish airspace. Now, the most frequently asked question stands on people’s minds: What has brought Turkey to shoot down the Russian jet?

Russia had been isolated by the West and came under harsh economic sanctions over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression on Ukraine and his annexation of Crimea.

Despite different policies on Syria and Crimea and Western isolation, Turkey continued to keep close relations and even improved economic ties with Russia, which sometimes drew criticism from the West.   

There is gap on Syrian policies between Turkey and Russia: Turkey defends a solution to the Syrian crisis -which has claimed at least 350,000 people and forced millions others to flee their homes- without the regime leader Bashar al Assad, however, Assad is a strong ally for Russian President Putin.

Several watchdogs and international organisations have proven that Russia has been providing aid for Assad, including financial and military aid.

Increasing international pressure let Russian President Putin to send military forces and war planes to Syria on September 30, Russia’s first abroad intervention since the Cold War era.

Putin claimed that Russian jets located in the country in order to bomb DAESH positions to “prevent the extension of the terrorist group” in the country.

However, according to reports, Russia has been bombing the opposition forces fighting against the Assad regime rather than DAESH positions in the country, including Turkmen minority who have national bonds with Turkey. Moreover, Russian air strikes in the region, where there is no DAESH presence, caused many civilian casualties, according to watchdogs.

Turkey warned Russia several times to not to bomb their “brothers” who are located in the northern Syria, near Turkish border.

Russian violations on Turkish airspace

On October 3, a Russian war jet had violated Turkish airspace in the country’s southern province of Hatay, which let Turkey to summon Russian ambassador to Turkey in order to condemn the action and warned him not to repeat the incident again, according to Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The move was the first violation of Turkish airspace, but not the last one.

Just a day after, on October 4, another Russian war jet had entered the Turkish airspace in the country’s Syrian border, said the ministry, adding the Russian officials were warned once again.

Turkish officials had also informed NATO, as the country is a member state of the block since any action against a member state stands against the all members of NATO.

The last airspace violation which resulted in the downing of the Russian jet took place on Tuesday when the Russian jet had been warned 10 time not to enter the airspace and was shot down as the jet did not respond the warning by a Turkish F-16 which later shot the Russian jet.

Now, Russian side threatens Turkey for the incident may risk the relations with Turkey and reconsider economic deals that signed between the two countries.

However, Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced on Wednesday that Turkish and Russian officials will meet in Belgrade soon over the dawning of jet.