Tukery holds funeral for pilots of downed plane


From Today’s ZamanThe two pilots of a reconnaissance jet downed by Syria last month were buried on Friday , one day after their bodies were finally retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea, ending a week-long search.

A commemoration ceremony was held on Friday morning for Capt. Gökhan Ertan and Lt. Hasan Hüseyin Aksoy at the 7th Main Jet Base Erhaç, Malatya, from where the two pilots took off for the last time.

Parliamenta Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and force commanders, as well as the families of the fallen pilots, attended the somber ceremony, which began with a minute of silence, following which prayers were said. Erdoğan and other government officials offered their condolences to the pilots’ families.

A brief biography of the pilots was read to the audience during the ceremony. In a speech, Commander of the 7th Main Jet Base Gen. Mustafa Avcı said the two pilots were killed in international waters of the Mediterranean while performing an unarmed mission. He said the two pilots were heroes and offered his condolences to the families.

Ertan was buried at the Malatya Garrison Military Cemetery after the Friday prayer, following a funeral service at Kabristan Mosque in Malatya.

A funeral service was held for Aksoy at Ataköy Mosque in İstanbul following the afternoon prayer, also on Friday. He was buried at the Edirnekapı Military Cemetery. . . .

The findings from the wreckage site and an autopsy on the bodies of the pilots conducted on Thursday revealed that the jet was most probably hit by a missile. Military experts say further tests are needed to confirm exactly what hit the jet, but findings indicate that it couldn’t possibly have been an anti-aircraft weapon.  (photo: Getty)

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