On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 jet crashed in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory, and fell 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.
"Of course yesterday’s crash of a Russian airplane downed by Turkey makes the situation more intense. We must now do everything so as to avoid an escalation," Merkel said in the country’s parliament.
Following the Su-24 downing, Ankara claimed it acted in line with its sovereign right to respond to threats as the Russian jet had violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, in accordance with precise objective control data.
The German chancellor added that every country has the right to provide security for its territory, but the overall situation in Syria and neighboring regions was "tense."
Merkel held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday and asked Ankara "to do everything possible to alleviate the situation."
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces battling a so-called moderate opposition and various extremist groups, including the ISIL militant group, and the Nusra Front.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council adopted an anti-terrorism resolution amid the ISIL terror threat.