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Letter from Turkey regarding Turkish airspace violations committed by Russia
16 February 2016
Letter dated 15 February 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
With reference to my letter circulated on 3 February 2016 (S/2016/108), regarding the repeated violations of Turkish airspace by Russian Federation military aircraft, and to the letter by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation, which contains groundless allegations, circulated on 4 February 2016 (S/2016/116) in response to my letter, I would like to expound on a couple of important issues.
First and foremost, it should be underlined once again that all Turkish airspace violations committed by Russia, which constitute solid cases of rampant disrespect for Turkish sovereignty, have been verified by technical data obtained by Turkish air defence systems, as well as by NATO. It is not possible to delete or invalidate such data, which is already on record.
Following the first two violations of 3 and 4 October 2015, a two -star general from the Russian Armed Forces visited Ankara with a delegation to give explanations. The Turkish military authorities informed the Russian delegation about possible serious consequences of such vast violations, suggested practical measures to avoid further similar incidents and provided them with the technical details of the violations. Furthermore, following the 24 November 2015 incident, the Turkish military authorities also informed the Russian Military Attache in Ankara as to the details of airspace violations that took place on 22 December 2015 and 29 January 2016 and repeatedly warned him of possible serious consequences of such unlawful acts.
Turkey is resolved to protect its airspace and made this crystal clear to the Russian side on numerous occasions. The disregard of Turkey's sovereign right to defend its airspace according to international law is the sole reason for the downing of the Russian military aircraft which was violating the Turkish airspace, despite our repeated calls for it to divert its course. As such, the responsibility for the incident lies with no one other than the Russian Federation itself.
I am attaching a detailed radar image and maps regarding the Turkish airspace violation that occurred on 29 January 2016 (see annexes).
I also would like to bring to your kind attention digital voice recordings of repeated calls in English and Russian in radio transmissions to SU-34 via GUARD channel to divert its course and not to intrude the Turkish air space, which can be reached from the following link: http://turkuno.dt.mfa.gov.tr/ShowAnnouncement.aspx?ID=250368.
The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to NATO has also been informed by NATO about the airspace violation and the records of the incident.
Regarding the baseless allegations about the Turkish policy towards Syria, let me reiterate that Turkey, since the beginning of the crisis, has stood by the Syrian people in their fight for a political change that meets their legitimate aspirations and has been at the forefront of all the efforts that would lead to a democratic, non-sectarian and multicultural Syria while maintaining its territorial integrity and unity. In this regard, Turkey, which has been a safe refuge for over 2.5 million Syrians, has taken all possible measures to alleviate the plight of the Syrian people despite the tremendous burden it entails. We invite the Russian authorities to stop distorting the facts and to engage genuinely with the international community in the fight against DEASH and not against the civilian people in Syria.
I would be grateful if the present letter could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Y. Halit Çevik
Annex I to the letter dated 15 February 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
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Annex II to the letter dated 15 February 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
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Annex III to the letter dated 15 February 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
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