Call to scrap F-4s renewed at pilots' funeral

Call to scrap F-4s renewed at pilots' funeral

Funeral ceremonies for two military officers killed in Thursday's crash in the central province of Konya took a more dramatic turn when the father of one of the officers called on the government to put an end to use of F-4 fighter jets.

Turkey bid farewell to Capt. Mustafa Tanış and Capt. Mustafa Delikan who were killed when their F-4 fighter jet crashed during a training flight.

Government ministers, army commanders and a large crowd attended the funeral for Tanış in Ankara. The funeral took a more dramatic turn when late officer's father pleaded to ministers to "stop the use of these aircraft" referring to the F-4s that have been involved in three crashes in less than two weeks. Two other F-4 jets crashed in Malatya in late February, killing four aboard.

"I suffer, and let others not suffer. Please do something and do not use these planes. I heard there are only 13 left. Please scrap them," Hayri Tanış told ministers. Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told the grieving father that the army had enough of a budget to replace the aircraft. "We do what is necessary," he said. Yılmaz said on Thursday that the F-4s that were modernized in the 2000s may be decommissioned, citing that the "public has lost confidence" in the safety of the planes, which have been in use since the 1980s.

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