Turkey’s ruling party says Russian observer flight route “speculation”
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 5
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The flight route over Turkey's territory, proposed by a Russian observer team, is a "speculation" on the backdrop of crisis in relations between Ankara and Moscow, said Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Celik said that earlier a Russian observer mission wanted to fly along Turkey's border with Syria, TRT Haber news channel reported Feb. 4.
Relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated after Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber on Nov. 24, 2015. Turkey said the bomber entered its airspace, while Russia denied its warplane flying into the Turkish skies.
Earlier, it was reported that a Russian observer team was planning to fly over Turkey's territory, as part of the Treaty on Open Skies.
But on Feb. 4, Turkey's Foreign Ministry didn't allow the team fly over the country's territory as the Turkish side didn't approve the flight route.
The Treaty on Open Skies, which currently has 34 states parties, including Turkey and Russia, establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.
The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them.
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu