I've been wondering whether there aren't hidden reasons behind Turkey's shoot-down of a Russian strike aircraft earlier this week. The Russian plane was bombing Turkmen rebel positions just inside Syria - and the Turkmen have traditionally been supported by Turkey.
Now comes this news.
In May, the Cumhuriyet paper published what it said were images of Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants.
The images reportedly date back to January 2014, when local authorities searched Syria-bound trucks, touching off a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials. Cumhuriyet said the images were proof that Turkey was smuggling arms to rebels in Syria.
The government had initially denied the trucks were carrying arms, maintaining that the cargo consisted of humanitarian aid. Some officials later suggested the trucks were carrying arms or ammunition destined to Turkmen kinsmen in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the same recently saying: "what difference would it make if they were carrying arms?"
. . .
Prosecutors launched an investigation into the journalists after Erdogan threatened legal action against Dundar for publishing the images and said he would not let the issue go.
His comments prompted the media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists to call on Erdogan to stop "bullying journalists ... just because he doesn't like what they report."
There's more at the link. The journalists have just been jailed because of their report.
If Turkey was supporting the Turkmen in Syria with arms shipments, and Russia was bombing those same Turkmen - and/or trying to interdict those arms shipments - it would provide an entirely new perspective on why the Russian jet was shot down, wouldn't it? And it would explain Russian anger as well.
Turkish President Erdogan is an autocratic fundamentalist Muslim, who has his own set of priorities and arrogantly disregards or rejects any criticism from anybody. Russian President Putin is not exactly backward in coming forward, either. Things might get rather interesting in that part of the world . . . Real. Soon. Now.