The most serious tension between Turkey and Russia

The Russian Su-24 plane downed by Turkish F-16s on the morning of Nov. 24 near the Syrian border was the first Russian (or Soviet) war plane hit and downed by a NATO country since the organization was founded in 1949, after World War II. 

Despite strong objection by Moscow, Ankara says the Russian jet (whose flag could not be identified at that time) was "intercepted" by Turkish jets after being warned "10 times in 5 minutes" before 9:24 a.m. local time. The Turkish military issued a map to the press showing the flight path of two Su-24 fighter-bombers entering Turkish air space after a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry revealed the downed plane was under the Russian flag (not Syrian, since Syria has Su-24s as well) and it did not violate Turkish air space; "We can prove that they did not," the statement said. 

Then the Turkish Foreign Ministry presented in writing their proof of a violation to the embassies of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia, also calling NATO for an emergency meeting. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu said - after announcing his new cabinet - that every country has the right to defend its borders.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cancelled his Nov. 25 trip to Turkey after consulting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who accused Turkey of "stabbing Russia in the back." Lavrov suggested Russians should not go to Turkey, which could affect the Turkish tourism sector badly. Yet Gazprom said they would continue to pump natural gas to Turkey, providing almost half of Turkey's electricity production.

But tourism and energy are not the major worries for the time being. This is perhaps the first military engagement between Turkey and Russia since World War...

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