eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1997
TRAMES cover
TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2021): 0.467
PDF | https//

Sami Doğru, Çağrı Güçlüten

Good relations between Russia and Turkey became strained when Russia’s SU-24-M fighter jet was shot down by Turkey on 24 November 2015 in Syria. It was the first time a NATO country had shot down a Russian jet in over 63 years. Although a year after this incident, the relations were restored by the leaders of the two states, Erdogan and Putin, it is still important to investigate the jet incident more deeply and within the framework of international law in order to prevent future violations of this nature. As a matter of fact, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 reveals the necessity of this investigation. The aim of this study is to examine the downing of the Russian jet by Turkey within the realm of compliance with international law. In this regard, first of all, information will be provided about the status of the airspace. Then, compatibility of Turkey’s downing of the Russian jet with international law is discussed.


Abeyratne, Ruwantissa (2012) Air navigation law. Heidelberg: Springer.

Act numbered 2920 and dated 14/10/1983. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 17 March 2020.

Air law: theoretical knowledge manual (2020) Oxford Aviation Training & Jeppesen.

Akgül, S. K., B. Pazarbaşı, and G. Yıldız (2016) “As a tool social networks twi̇tter for political communication in foreign policy on the effect of decision-making process: the analysis of tweet messages of Turkish and Russian political news actors on making Su 24 Russian plane crashed”. Journal of Information Technology 7, 25, 37–70.

AkkutayBerat Lale (2017) Uluslararası hukukta sivil ve devlet hava aracı ayrımı. TAAD (Ankara), 8, 31, 315–348.

Aust, Anthony (2005) Handbok of international law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Barnsby et al. (2011) “Rules of engagement”. In S. Condron, ed. Operational law handbook. International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Virginia.

Bishara, Azmi (2015) “Russian intervention in Syria: geostrategy is paramount”. Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, 1–21. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 25 February 2022.

Convention on international civil aviationAvailable online at 
<>. Accessed on 6 January 2022. 

Convention relating to the regulation of aerial navigation signed at Paris (13 October 1919) (Paris Convention). Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 6 Jannuary 2022.

Cooper, Camilla Guldahl (2014) “Rules of engagement demystified: a study of the history, development and use of ROEs”. Military Law and the Law of War Review 53, 1, 1–54.

Crawford, James (2019) Brownlie’s principles of public international law, 9th ed. Oxford.

Fahim, K. and S. Arsu (2013) “Turkey says it shot down Syrian military helicopter flying in its airspace”. The New York Times, 16 September. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 10 April 2022.

Glahn, Gerhard von and James Larry Taulbee (2017) Law among nations: an introduction to public international law. 11th ed. New York.

Güçlüten, Çağrı (2018) Rules of engagement at ınternational law: Turkey’s downing a Russian warplane. Mersin.

“Hava sahası ve FIR nedir”. HavaLiman. Available online at 
< Accessed on 5 January 2022. 

Isachenko, Vladimir (2018) “Putin seeks to defuse downing of Russian plane off Syria”. AP News. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 10 April 2022. 

Karabat, Ayşe “Rusya ne yapmaya çalışıyor?”. [What is Russia trying to do?] (2015) Aljazeera. Available online at 
< rusya-ne-yapmaya-calisiyor>. Accessed on 09 June 2022.

Karadeniz, T. and M. Kiselyova (2015) “Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Putin warns of ‘serious consequences’”. Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 May 2022.

Karataş, Beyazıt (2016) Bir Rus savaş uçağı düşürmenin anatomisi. İstanbul: Alibi Press. 

Kaya, İbrahim (2012) “Türk jetinin düşürülmesi ve uluslararası hukuk”, Tuiç Akademi. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 6 January 2021.

Keser, A. and Ö. E. Meral (2016) “Türk hava sahasını ihlal eden Rus uçağının düşürülmesi: uluslararası anlaşmalar ve hukuk çerçevesinde bir inceleme”. Türk Sosyal Bilimler Araştırma Dergisi (Hasan Kalyoncu Üniversitesi) 1, 1, 27–42.

Keskin Ata, Funda (2012) “Uluslararası hukuk açısından türk askeri uçağının suriye tarafından düşürülmesinin bir değerlendirmesi”. Ortadoğu Analiz 4, 44, 16–29.

Köstem, Seçkin (2021) “Russian-Turkish cooperation in Syria: geopolitical alignment with limits”. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 34, 6, 798–817.

Letter of Yaşar Halit Çevik to UN (2015). Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 9 February 2022.

M. C. Bilsel (1958) Milletlerarası hava hukuku. (İstanbul Üniversitesi Yayınları, 3, 1.) İstanbul.

M. Galeotti (2015) “Why did it take Turkey just 17 seconds to shoot down Russian jet?”. The Guardian, 26 November. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 30 August 2022.

Mačák, Kubo (2015) “Was the downing of the Russian jet by Turkey illegal?”. Blog of the European Journal of International Law. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 August 2022.

Mankoff, J. (2015) “Turkish downing of a Russian jet”. CSIS. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 15 April 2022.

MC 362/1 NATO Rules of Engagement. 

Melvin, Don (2015) “Turkish air force reports it shot down unidentified drone”, CNN. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 10 July 2022.

Montevideo convention on the rights and duties of states, signed at Montevideo (26 December 1933). Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 6 March 2021.

NATO&OTAN (2016) “Statement by the NATO secretary general on Russian air space violation”. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 13 May 2022.

ORSAM:Center of Middle Eastern Studies (2015) “Downed Russian warplane, rules of engagement and international law”. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 5 August 2022.

P. Kubicek (2021) “Strictly pragmatism? Prospects for a Russian-Turkish partnership”. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 23, 2, 233–250.

Pazarcı, Hüseyin (2018) Uluslararası hukuk. (Turhan Kitabevi, 17B.) Ankara.

Press release regarding the violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian federation aircraft, No: 269 (2015) Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5 October. Available online at
<>. Accessed on 10 June 2022. 

Rules of engagement handbook (2009) International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo.

“Russian defense ministry video proves Su-24 never entered Turkish airspace” (2015) Sputnik International, 24 October. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 July 2022. 

“Russian-Turkish crisis” (2015) Sputnik Türkiye. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 24 November 2020.

Sar, Cem and Seha L. Meray (1972) “İzinsiz giren yabancı uçakların uluslararası hukuk açısındn yarattığı sorunlar”. Ankara Üniversitesi SBF Dergisi 27, 3, 20–30.

Shaw, Malcolm N. (2017) International law. 8th ed. Cambridge.

“Syrian military says it downed Turkish fighter jet” (2012). BBC News. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 15 April 2022. 

“Syrians under temporary protection” (2022). R.o.Tr. Ministry of Interior Presidency of Migration Managment. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 30 August 2022.

“Taking stock: five years of Russia’s intervention in Syria” (2020) Carnegie Europe, 30 November. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 25 February 2022.

Taşçı, Tekin Ayhan (2015) “Türk-Rus ilişkilerinde yeni bir başlangıç: Rus uçağının düşürülmesi”, Erciyes Üniversitesi Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi, 15–38.

“The general staff has released the audio recording of the warnings to the Russian plane” (2015) AA. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 24 September 2022. 

The international institute of humanitarian law. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 18 August 2022.

“The Islamic state (terrorist organization)” (2022) RAND Corporation. Available online at . Accessed on 11 August 2022. 

“Turkey changes rules of engagement after F-4 downed by Syria” (2012) Air force technology. Available online at 
< syria-f-4-shot-down>. Accessed on 05 January 2022. 

“Turkey downing of Russia jet ‘stab in the back’ – Putin” (2015) BBC. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 April 2022.

 “Turkey downs Russian fighter jet near Syrian border after violation of airspace” (2015) Daily Sabah, 24 November. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 July 2022.

“Turkey downs Syria military jet ‘in airspace violation” (2014) BBC News. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 April 2022. 

 “Turkey PM Erdogan calls Syria an ‘open threat’” (2012) BBC News. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 10 August 2022. 

“Turkey says Russian jet violated its airspace again, warns of consequences” (2016) Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 30 August 2022.

“Turkey shoots down Russian fighter jet” (2015) Youtube. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 15 March 2022.

“Turkey shoots down Russian jet for airspace violation near Syrian border” (2015) Hürriyet Daily News, 24 November. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 12 June 2022. 

“Turkey tells U.N. it shot down plane, defends right to do so” (2015). Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 24 November 2020.

“Turkey’s downing of Russian warplane – what we know” (2015) BBC News. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 30 August 2022.

Turkish armed forces general staff. Press Release (No:BA-97/15). Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 April 2022).

“Turkish army to respond to any Syrian violation: Erdogan” (2012) Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 21 April 2022.

“U.N. Syria envoy says downing of Russian jet ‘did not help’ peace process” (2015) Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 24 July 2022.

United Nations Convention on the law of the sea. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 6 March 2022.

United Nations peacekeeping operations: principles and guidelines (2008). Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 18 August 2022.

United States Marine Corps. The Basic School Marine Corps Training Command Camp Barrett. “Law of war/ introduction to rules of engagement B130936 student handout”, 2134–5019, Virginia.

“U.S. says Turkish shoot down of Russian jet was ‘at the border”’ (2015) Reuters. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 2 April 2022.

Vasiliev, Alexey (2018) Russia’s middle east policy: from Lenin to Putin. London: Routledge.

“What’s the reaction in Moscow?” (2015) CNN. Available online at 
<>. Accessed on 11 August 2022.

Back to Issue