I was chatting with a diplomat of an important country in Turkey. Of course, the subject matter was Syria. He said: “What you wrote was correct. Syria’s downing of a Turkish plane was wrong from beginning to end. It was a hostile act, and they had no right to do it. They can’t defend their actions.” The diplomat then added a ”but.” Before he could go on, I interrupted him: “But what? They can’t shoot a plane down.”
He then said: “You are right, they can’t shoot it down, but Turkey is putting itself and its allies in a difficult spot by fabricating facts.”
Oops! Where did this come from?
“What fabrication?” I asked.
His reply was: “I don’t think Turkey is telling the truth about the location where the plane was shot down. I think the plane was in Syrian airspace when it was shot down.”
I said: “Would that make a difference? Are all planes that violate a country’s airspace shot down? This is what I am arguing. Let’s say that it was in Syrian airspace. That doesn’t give them the right to shoot it down.”
He said: ”You are right. When they don’t have the right to shoot it down even if it was in Syrian airspace and when Syria is clearly in the wrong for doing it, what is the need to lie? This is what I don’t understand.”
I defended Turkey: “I don’t think they are lying. On my TV program, Omer Celik [AKP foreign policy expert] called on all regional countries to reveal their radar data.”
“Right,” he said. “But nobody responded to it. Regionally, the British in Cyprus and Israeli radars continuously monitor Syrian airspace. There are US and Russian ships doing the same. How come none of them responded to Turkey’s call?”
He went on: “Why isn’t anyone talking? Nobody sees Syria as right in this affair. But, they don’t want to put Turkey in a tough spot by exposing it as a lying country.”
I insisted: “It was Syria that shot down the plane. That is established.”
“That is precisely the problem. When Turkey is so much in the right, why did it choose to lie? I simply can’t understand it.”
The day after this conversation, the Wall Street Journal quoted an”American official” who said that the plane was shot down over Syria.
Is Turkey lying, or are some people lying to the people who govern Turkey?