Banu Şen - Hürriyet / Istanbul, March 20 () - The detection of damaged cables on two separate aircrafts at an İzmir airbase has triggered suspicion of a sabotage attempt, and an investigation has been opened.
Military prosecutors launched a probe after a cut cable was found in a jet during a final check before its flight two months ago.
Following the first incident, two noncommissioned officers were tasked with conducting a technical check on another jet on Feb. 9, discovering that cables part of the landing gears under both aerofoils were cut. The officers, who knew about the first incident, notified their commanders about the second.
The two were taken into custody as suspects and then sent to a military court, with demands for their arrest on charges of deliberately damaging military property.
The court released the officers, stating that there was no verbal or written evidence for the claims.
Murat Ergün, the lawyer of the two sergeants, declined to comment on the case because the investigation is still ongoing.
A Turkish Air Force F-4E jet crashed in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on the morning of March 5, two weeks after two others crashed during a training exercise on Feb. 24 in the Eastern Anatolian province of Malatya. Six pilots were killed in the two accidents.
Turkey has the second largest armed forces in NATO and in recent years its fighter jets have played an active role in patrolling its troubled borders with neighboring Iraq and Syria.