According to the BBC, Turkey and Russia have disputed the flight path and this map shows the disputed paths:

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According to the Guardian, that means the plane would have only been in Turkish territory for 17 seconds at the most.

This raises multiple questions:

  • Did Turkey actually warn the Russians? And if so, how was it that Turkey warned Russia for a full five minute if the plane was in Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds, at most?
  • Did the plane actually enter into Turkish airspace? What proof is there for the plane's path?
  • @Sklivvz, you put my question on hold but didn't even leave a comment (apart from the reason above). I see you also put another post about Turkish/ISIS oil trade on hold. Both of these posts have a high rating. – zagadka314 Dec 3 '15 at 0:11
  • Also, if you look at the post below (especially the comments), you will see that the answer is already there. No need to wait for politicians to agree (they never will). – zagadka314 Dec 3 '15 at 0:13
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    Your question was closed with a specific reason. If you have any question I'll be happy to answer, but neither score nor having an answer are a good reason to close or reopen. – Sklivvz Dec 3 '15 at 8:14
  • @EzebenerSklivvze I fail to see how this event, something that happened in the past, is off topic. The Turkish oil trade one seems just as on topic as well. I do not agree that your meta post supports your decision. I would also like to add that Grimm has much more up votes than the answer you selected. – zagadka314 Dec 3 '15 at 14:32
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    If this is fundamentally an historical question, as it seems to be, then we need to give time to historians to evaluate the evidence and reach a consensus. Clearly there's not such a consensus. In fact, there's not even a consensus among political analysts (who, I remind you, would only speculate and would not count as strong evidence anyways) as you can gather by the news reporting on the subject. Keeping this question open will only gather bad answers such as the one it has, which only repeat the claim or speculate. This is the motivation behind the closure reason, and why I used it. – Sklivvz Dec 3 '15 at 14:50

For your first question,

Did Turkey actually warn the Russians? And if so, how was it that Turkey warned Russia for a full five minute if the plane was in Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds, at most?

Turkey explained this in its statement to the UN Security Council

This morning (24 November) 2 SU-24 planes, the nationality of which are unknown have approached Turkish national airspace. The Planes in question have been warned 10 times during a period of 5 minutes via ‘Emergency’ channel and asked to change their headings south immediately

I take this to mean that the warning started when the aircraft approaches the Turkish airspace. I think this makes sense - when you sees a hostile aircraft approaching your territory, you don't necessarily want to wait for them to actually enter your territory before warning them. Turkey backed up their claim by releasing an audio of the warning. Some news reports played this audio, for example towards the end of this video. The US State Department also said that its own sources corroborated this account (independently of the Turkish claim).

The available information including evidence from Turkey and our own sources indicates the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace. We also know that the Turks warned the Russian pilots multiple times before the airspace violation to which the Turks received no response.

Russia, on the other hand denied that they were warned. Of course, it's more difficult to "prove" that something didn't happen, so unless there is a clear, verifiable evidence that they got the warnings, their claim can't be rejected either.

For your second question

Did the plane actually enter into Turkish airspace? What proof is there for the plane's path?

Both Russia and Turkey have provided maps of what they claim the flight path was. Naturally the Turkish one showed that the plane went inside their airspace, while the Russian one did not. The US seems to side with Turkey too on this one (see quote above). The ways they produced the maps are not exactly open to inspection, so I don't know if we can decisively say whether the Turkish or the Russian version of events were true.

So, there you go. Both countries have contradicting claims about what happened, so at least one of them must be mistaken, but there is nothing clearly disprovable in either claim.

  • The recordings may easily be faked and I wouldn't put it passed the DoD to just support the Turks. But on the other hand, Russia isn't exactly that trustworthy either. It may not be very.. verifiable… I honestly don't trust either party involved in this mess. But I do not think the Turks seriously believed the Russian jet was going to attack Turkey, it entered the territory for only 17 seconds at most, and it was clearly shot down outside of Turkish territory… By their own account, it doesn't seem at all reasonable that they shot it down, but that isn't really the topic here, I guess. – zagadka314 Dec 2 '15 at 3:24
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    There is seemingly extensive analysis of the crash site location here: ukraineatwar.blogspot.com/2015/11/… – DavePhD Dec 2 '15 at 12:03
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    Also, "The Aviationist" says "the Su-24M is not able to monitor [the 243.0/121.5 MHz emergency channel] with the current radio equipment" so the Russia pilot may be correct that he didn't receive a warning even if one was made on the agreed upon emergency channel. theaviationist.com/2015/11/27/… – DavePhD Dec 2 '15 at 12:11
  • @DavePhD: But their reference also says that the message was transmitted on an agreed channel, so it is likely not that simple. – Oddthinking Dec 2 '15 at 12:45
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    What makes you say it is more likely? – zagadka314 Dec 4 '16 at 12:38

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