Entries in Turkey (56)


WATCH: Airline Passengers Capture Video of Engine Fire

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dramatic video has surfaced of an airliner moments after its engine caught fire about 30,000 feet in the air above Turkey, which the airline attributed to a lightning strike.

Turkish Airlines says the plane with 114 people aboard made an emergency landing last Thursday after the incident.

A passenger caught the entire ordeal on tape as sparks were seen flying out of the damaged engine through the window. Passengers on board were warned of turbulence shortly before the lights in the cabin went dark.  There was little panic on board the flight as everyone remained in their seats.

Amateur video taken from the ground showed a flame streaking across the night sky.

The flight was en route to Izmir from Istanbul and was preparing to land at Izmir when the lightning struck late Thursday, the airline said.  The pilot quickly activated the motor’s own fire-extinguishing gear, declared an emergency and landed safely.

The company said no one was hurt.

ABC News aviation analyst John Nance said he doubts that the fire was caused by a lightning strike.

“There’s almost no likelihood that a lightning strike could have created any problem with the engine,” he said.  “What we saw in the videos certainly looks frightening, but that is basically an engine just coming apart.”

Aviation experts say every airline in the sky is hit on average once a year and the chances of being hit in the air are 500 times more likely than on the ground.

An Emirates Airbus A380 was hit back in May 2011.  That same spring, a United jet from San Francisco to London was also hit by lightning.  Those planes landed safely, as did a JetBlue flight that took off from Tampa Bay, Fla., in 2011 that was hit twice while in mid-air.

“Jet liners are designed to be hit by lightning in the air and it happens all the time,” Nance said.  “They simply absorb it because they are not grounded.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US to Send Two Patriot Missiles, 400 Troops to Turkey

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey) -- The U.S. will send two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey to prevent rounds from Syria from crossing the border, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who signed the order to send the missiles while en route to Turkey on Friday, said the move will help in "dealing with threats that come out of Syria."

Panetta made his remarks after landing at Incirlik Air Base, where he addressed approximately 300 men and women stationed there and thanked them for their service.

Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters on board the flight that about 400 U.S. soldiers will be deployed to Turkey to operate the two missiles.

"We expect them to be deployed in the coming weeks," he said.

Little said "the purpose of this deployment is to signal very strongly that the United States, working closely with our NATO allies, is going to support the defense of Turkey," which he said, "is a very strong ally of the United States."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NATO Approves Anti-Missile Batteries Along Turkish Border

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS) -- U.S.-made Patriot missiles will be deployed in strategic spots along the Turkish border in what is the first major step by NATO to deal with the possibility of the conflict in Syria widening.

After conferring with the 28-member alliance, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced on Tuesday that "Turkey has asked for NATO’s support, and we stand with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity."

In essence, Fogh Rasmussen said that an attack on Turkey by Syria would be considered an attack on NATO.

However, the NATO leader also explained that these Patriot anti-missile batteries supplied by the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands should not be interpreted as a build-up toward direct intervention in the 20-month Syrian conflict.

Fogh Rasmussen added that the air defenses are meant to defend Turkey and are not intended to provide a no-fly zone over Syria that might protect rebel forces in their ongoing battle against President Bashar al-Assad's military.

Nonetheless, the missiles, which are expected to be in place early next year, could also be used for other purposes if the Syrian government unleashes chemical weapons against its enemies as Washington and other nations fear might be in the works.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NATO to Announce Patriot Missile-Defense Along Turkish Border

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS) -- NATO is preparing to endorse a plan Tuesday setting up Patriot missile-defense batteries along some parts of the Turkish border to protect against any incursion by Syria.

The weaponry will be provided by the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands.

Ankara has been especially concerned about impending attacks from Syria due to the ongoing 20-month conflict between President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebel forces.  Relations between the two countries have been strained since Turkey has spoken out against al-Assad.

Hastening the need for a missile defense system are reports from U.S. and Israeli intelligence about activity around Syrian chemical weapons sites.

At Tuesday's expected announcement, NATO will affirm its support for Turkey from Syrian aggression and will leave it up to the Americans, Germans and Dutch to decide how long the deployment will be and the number of missiles used to defend against a potential ballistic missile attack from Syria.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Turkey's Missiles Could Create No-Flight Zone over Syria

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- The U.S. and the rest of the West have been opposed to creating a no-fly zone over Syria, fearing the might of President Bashar al-Assad's air force despite the leader's seeming reluctance to trust many of his fighter pilots.

However, Turkey is looking into the possibility of offering help to rebel forces by lining up Patriot missile batteries along its border.

This would, in effect, create a no-fly zone at least over the northern part of Syria that includes its largest city of Aleppo, where much of the fighting between government troops and rebels has been taking place for months.

The Patriot missiles have a range of about 40 miles that would offer cover to opposition fighters in their efforts to wrest control of Syria from al-Assad after nearly 20 months of warfare that has left an estimated 35,000 people dead.

Ankara's move might also spur the West to do more as well, including creating direct links to opposition forces inside Syria.  Most of the reluctance to give aid up to now has to do with fears that Islamic militants operating in the country could be helped as well.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Turkey Detains Syrian Commercial Jet

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Tensions between Turkey and Syria were ratcheted up another notch on Wednesday when a Syrian commercial jet was forced to land in Ankara and was briefly detained.

According to Turkey's state TV, the military sent fighter planes to confront the jet with 35 passengers en route to Damascus from Moscow on suspicions that it was actually loaded with military cargo.

In recent months, Turkey angered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by siding with opposition forces intent on removing him from power, and last week, mortar fire that killed a Turkish woman and her family has resulted in the two sides repeatedly lobbing shells over their shared border.

The Turkish prime minister insists his country doesn't want war, but has vowed to defend it if attacked.

Should Turkey come under a full-scale assault by Syria, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance has “all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary.”

Meanwhile, this latest flare-up prompted a warning by Turkey that all its aircraft should avoid flying over Syria.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tensions Mount as Syria and Turkey Keep Lobbing Shells at Each Other

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- A fifth day of shelling Syria Sunday seemed to belie the Turkish prime minister's statement last week that his country did not want to go to war.

The Turks said their action was retaliatory because a Syrian mortar round had landed near the border village of Akcakale.  It was in the same town last Wednesday that a Turkish mother, her children and a relative were killed by Syrian fire.

Last week, the government in Ankara passed a resolution to allow the Turkish army to respond militarily if its security is threatened.  At the time, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wanted to avoid war with Syria.

Fears are growing within the region that the 19-month conflict in Syria will spread to other countries.

The fighting is growing more intense as the opposition tries to repel a new push by government forces to retake control of areas in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.  On Saturday alone, there were more than 150 deaths reported -- a third of them civilians.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Turkish Prime Minister Says He Doesn't Want War with Turkey

Kazuhiro Ibuki - Pool/Getty Images(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Turkey's leader sought to cool down the talk of war after his country retaliated against Syria following errant mortar fire that killed a mother and her children.

Following its shelling of Syrian targets across the border, the Turkish parliament authorized military action inside Syria, the most ominous sign yet the 19-month conflict could potentially destabilize the entire region.

However, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Thursday that the authorization was only meant as a deterrence and that Turkey doesn't want to get into an armed conflict with Syria.

According to Erdogan, "We want peace and security and nothing else.  We could never be interested in something like starting a war."

Yet, he added ominously, "The Turkish Republic is a state capable of defending its citizens and borders.  Nobody should try and test our determination on this subject."

In fact, the authorization allows Turkey to send its troops onto Syrian soil and conduct strikes against targets for one year.

The two countries are at odds over the Syrian conflict, with Erdogan having previously denounced President Bashar al-Assad for killing his own people to bring an end to an armed rebellion for democratic reform and the regime in Damascus blaming Turkey, the U.S. and other for fueling the crisis.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Turkey Strikes Back at Syria After Mortar Fire Kills Family

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Fears that the ongoing conflict in Syria might spread beyond its borders were realized Wednesday when Turkey responded militarily to Syrian mortar fire that killed a mother, her children and a relative in the town of Akcakale.

In a sharply worded statement from the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish government said "Targets were shelled in locations identified by radar."

The statement broadcast by the official news agency added, "Turkey, in accordance with the rules of engagement and international law, will never leave such provocations by the Syrian regime against our national security unrequited."

The cross-border strikes continued on Thursday, with Ibrahim Kalin, a top official in Erdogan's office, tweeting: "Turkey has no interest in a war with Syria.  But Turkey is capable of protecting its borders and will retaliate when necessary."

The two countries are at odds over the 19-month-long Syrian conflict, with Erdogan having denounced President Bashar al-Assad for killing his own people and the regime in Damascus blaming Turkey, the U.S. and other for fueling the crisis.

Meanwhile, thousands of Syrians have sought safety in Turkish refugee camps across the border.

It's believed that the five Turkish victims were killed by stray mortar shells, but it's unknown if they were fired by Syrian military or rebel forces.

In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage over the incident while NATO warned Syria to stop its flagrant violations of international law.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Egypt and Turkey Take Turns Blasting Syrian President

AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad got a one-two punch Wednesday at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo Wednesday.

Already outspoken in his criticism of al-Assad for the 18-month government crackdown on pro-democratic forces, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said that the only way to end the violent conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives is for the Syrian president to step down.

Morsi, who made the same demand at a summit in Tehran, Iran, last week, said it is now time for "change and not wasting time speaking of reform."

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his sharpest remarks yet against al-Assad's regime, alleging that Syria has been reduced to a "terrorist state" that is now conducting wholesale massacres against its own people.

Erdogan also expressed his frustration with the international community for failing to do more to resolve the civil war that began in March 2011 while admitting his own government does not "have the luxury to remain indifferent" to what is happening next door.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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