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Israeli Air Force Trains in Turkey

April 16, 1996
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Israeli jets have arrived in Turkey to begin training flights there under the terms of a military exchange accord signed in February by the two countries.

Israeli pilots had already begun training flights in Turkish air space, diplomatic sources said.

The sources said eight Israeli F-16 training jets and their crews arrived this week in Turkey, adding that the planes were unarmed and lacked any surveillance equipment.

Israel wanted its pilots to be able to train in Turkey, whose air space is less limited than the Jewish state’s, according to the sources.

In return, Israel said it would upgrade some 50 Turkish F-4 bombers under the terms of the pact.

Syria, Egypt and Iran have criticized the accord, describing it as a threat to regional stability.

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