Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
8th January, 2016
Four Turkish air force fighter jets entered the air space of Greece on Thursday, 7 January, stated the Greek Ministry of Defence.
The Turkish Air Force crossed the borders of Greece three times in the Northern part of the Aegean sea, two of the Turkish fighter aircraft were carrying weapons. For each violation, Greek jets were scrambled to intercept those who were identified as the offenders and pursued them, wrote “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” with reference to the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”.
Bear in mind that the Turkish military planes frequently violate the airspace of Greece. In connection with this, Athens reacted to the incident with the Russian su-24. In the Greek capital, a rally in solidarity with Moscow in the conflict with Ankara was held, in which the Greeks burned Turkish and American flags.
According to the University of Thessaly, in 2014, the Greek Ministry of Defense recorded 2224 incursions of Turkish planes and helicopters in the country’s airspace. In 2015, the Turkish air force had violated the Greek border no less than 1300 times, including at least 31 flights directly over Greek Islands.
The former chief of General staff of Greece, retired Lieutenant-General Fragoulis Fragos, said, “The provocative actions of Ankara serve one purpose – to make clear to the international community that Turkey does not recognize the existing air and sea borders in the Eastern Mediterranean”.