Turkey honours pilots downed by Syria

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Turkey honours pilots downed by Syria

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A ceremony has been held in Turkey for the two pilots killed when Syria downed a Turkish jet last month.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined military chiefs and the families of Gokhan Ertan and Hasan Huseyin Aksoy. Their bodies were only recovered on Thursday after more than two weeks of searching.

Relations between Ankara and Damascus were already strained over the situation in Syria before the downing of the jet on June 22. Since then they have hit a new low.

Turkey insists although the plane strayed briefly into Syrian airspace, it was over international waters when it was shot down – something Syria disputes.

Following the incident, Turkey has bolstered its military presence along its border with Syria, and scrambled F-16 fighter jets three days running after spotting Syrian helicopters in the area.