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    A Turkish fighter jet flies above the Incirlik airbase, southern Turkey.

    Passing the Buck: Turkish Government Shifts Su-24 Blame to Air Force Chief

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    Social media accounts operated by supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP party have begun to attack the head of Turkey's air force, the Turkish press has reported.

    Accounts on Twitter belonging to supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan have turned their ire on the Commander General of Turkey's Air Force, Abidin Unal, blaming him for the shooting down of Russia's Su-24 bomber last month.

    On November 24 Turkey's armed forces announced its fighter jets had shot down Russia's Su-24 bomber and claimed that the aircraft had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, a claim disproved by Russia's air force. 

    The claim was repeated by Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, who said the plane was shot because it "did not answer our warning," and said Turkey has "a right to defend its airspace."

    On Tuesday, Turkey's Sozcu newspaper reported that though members of the government had been quick to claim responsibility for shooting down the bomber in the immediate aftermath of the attack, the Turkish president and others are now trying to distance themselves, and pin the blame on the head of the Turkish air force instead.

    According to Sozcu, several Twitter accounts belonging what the papers calls "AK Trolls" have published tweets attacking General Unal in recent days, including calls for his resignation.

    Turkish President Erdogan founded the Justice and Development (AK) Party in 2001, and its current leader is Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    ​AK trolls are saying Abidin Unal is responsible for the Russian crisis.

    ​Ak troll orders come from the palace, Air Force Commander Abidin Unal gave the order to shoot the plane.

    ​Air force commander Abidin is being called a traitor because of the fallen Russian aircraft.

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    Tags:
    Downing of Russian SU-24, Turkish Air Force, Turkey
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