Turkey divided over response to Syria
What Turkish newspapers, commentators and Twitter users are saying about the downing of a Turkish jet by Syria
A Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter jet was shot down by Syria on Friday. Photograph: Stringer/EPA
The Turkish political leadership may be doing its best to present a united response to the downing of one of its fighter jets by Syria on Friday, but among the media and wider public there is heated debate about how to respond.In the main Turkish newspapers, commentators stressed their opposition to a military confrontation with Syria, but generally agreed with the government's call for a Nato meeting to discuss the incident, arguing that Syria's actions were wrong.Pointing out that general rules of engagement would have obliged Syria to warn the pilots of a plane entering their airspace before firing, Fikret Bila wrote in Milliyet: "In the light of this it is impossible to accept the Damascus government's explanation that 'we fired because [the plane] had entered our airspace by 1 kilometre'."Others, such as commentator Mümtazer Türköne of the government-supporting daily Zaman, argue that Syria is openly trying to engage in a war. He wrote: "Let's not forget that our military is part of Nato. […] If we go to war, we will not go alone."But several analysts also point to unanswered questions.Commentator and columnist Özgür Mumcu writes in Radikal: "It is one question to ask in what ways Syria might have broken international laws. But we need to know what this plane was doing there in the first place, in such critical times."Meanwhile, calls to war were issued on social media sites. Pop singer Nihat Dogan tweeted that "Turkey should not miss this chance and occupy Syria while it was fighting with its own opposition," adding that the "New Ottoman [project] would fail otherwise."His colleague Erol Köse tweeted in similar vein: "We remained silent when they put bags over our soldiers' heads, when Israel attacked our ship, do these anti-war [activists] say that we should also remain silent when one of our planes is shot down?"But their tweets were rebuked by Aykan Erdemir, MP for the Republican People's party, who wrote on his Twitter account: "Let's see whether Turkish PM Erdoğan will use Ramadan for dialogue & peace-building, or for hatred & warmongering."