138 violations of Greek airspace by Turkish aircraft
Tension mounts as Turkey reacts to Greece blocking the extradition of eight military officers Ankara accuses of involvement in July's failed coup
Incursions by military aircraft barely qualifies as news, having long been part of the complicated relationship between Greece and Turkey. The Greek airforce has routinely been intercepting Turkish aircraft violating airspace in an almost daily basis, to the extent that it is usually considered a non-event. This is not the case, however, regarding recent violations. According to Defence ministry officials, 138 violations of Greek airspace have been recorded over islands in the central and southern Aegean, recently, a number too high to be dismissed. Although the Turkish aircraft were easily intecepted by the Greek airforce, the mass incursions phenomenon is cause for alarm.
In an interview to Ant1 television, Defense Minister (and deputy PM), Panos Kammenos, dismissed the Turkish military activity as "cowboy antics", aimed to intimidate Greece. "We want peace, we are not looking for a fight or for trouble in the Aegean, but there won't be an aircraft which will not be intercepted," he said.
The airspace violations are believed to have come as Turkey's response to Greece's refusal to extradict the eight military officers who fled to Greece in July, after the failed military coup. The soldiers were detained in Greece, accused of illegal entry, and Ankara demanded that they would be sent over, where they were facing charges of treason. The Greek court refused extradition which caused tension between two countries. The frail relationship between the two NATO allies was further challenged when Panos Kammenos flew by helicopter over the Imia islets, and threw a wreath into the sea, in memory of the three officers who lost their lives during the 1996 crisis, when Greece and Turkey came to the brink of war. Kammenos' visit to the area came after Turkey's heads of military forces visited a naval headquarters close to Kardak (as is the Turkish name for Imia), as part of an official inspection. Ankara's ire was further ignited a few weeks ago, when the Greek deputy shipping minister, Nectarios Santorinios, made a statement about potential ways to exploit 28 small uninhabited Aegean islands.
- Register Now
- Melbourne cafe inspired by 1950s Greek delicatessens
- Greek Jewish community hails citizenship decision
- Commemorating the 196th anniversary of the Greek Revolution
- Healthy Greek olive oil bottled and consumed like medicine
- Laskarina Bouboulina, the Lady of the Revolution
- Heritage Victoria gives green light for Evangelismos Church restoration
- €300 million investment in smoke-free product manufacturing facility in Greece
- WHO: Greece far exceeds normal rate of C-section births
- This March we march for endometriosis
- Greece faces Belgian roadblock on road to Russia
- Four dead in tragic accident on Greek highway
- Turkey threatens Greece and Cyprus
- Parthenon voted the most beautiful building in the world
- RIP George Hatzipanagiotis
- World's most beautiful street located in Greece
- Parthenon Marbles resurgence
- Healthy and delicious meals to carry us through Greek Orthodox Lent
- Brother of alleged Bourke Street murderer, Angelo Gargasoulas jailed for two months
- Greece looks to become top tourism destination in the world
- The best IGA in the world belongs to a Greek migrant from Ikaria
A feast of Hellenic flavours on Australian television.
The new Hellenic Scholarship will give students living in Greece or Cyprus the opportunity to study in Australia.
John Vithoulkas explores what defines a modern Greek: Name? Blood? Or heart?
Dr Heather Jackson will present a lecture on 'Images of Myth and Life: the University of Melbourne Collection of Greek Vases'.
Doncaster Westfield's IONIO has become a local institution, and with good reason, offering perfectly cooked Greek comfort food that tastes as good as it looks.
If we need to save the language, we might want to reconsider our educational strategy, and our connection with it.
Con Kalamaras and his band successfully revived the music of one of Greece's great troubadours.
For your next visit to Greece invest some time volunteering through THI organisations and programs.
Only 17, and still at school but could he be the next great winger to come of Dutch football's assembly line?
Gerry Georgatos on why happiness and the dawn of new meanings are the ways forward.
Former head coach of both Greece's men's and women's senior teams, Sakis Kechagias brings his international experience to the role.
Food For Thought Network raises awareness and takes action towards promoting women's development.
'Australian workers, particularly young Australians, must be given priority,' says Immigration Minister.
Made from a family recipe with real milk, owner John Konstas couldn't be happier about the win.
Senator Nick Xenophon is shaking up South Australian politics with the launch of new party SA Best and candidates who have real-life skills and experience.
SETE's chief Andreas Andreadis says Greece needs a new vision for the future to overcome the economic crisis, and that vision is tourism.
There's never been a better time to be a football agent.
The virus was the first case reported in Europe.