Turkey, Greece Accuse Each Other of Violating Airspace
- May, 21, 2022 - 17:17
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Athens summoned the Turkish ambassador to Greece after two Turkish F-16 fighter jets reportedly violated Greek airspace, as Turkey claims Greece violated its airspace twice this week.
Earlier Friday, the Greek foreign ministry had strongly condemned the incursion of two Turkish fighter jets within 2.5 nautical miles of the northeastern city of Alexandroupoli on Friday, calling the incident an “unprecedented violation of national sovereignty,” Ekathimerini reported.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented violation of Greece’s national sovereignty by two Turkish fighter aircraft, which illegally entered our national airspace and approached Alexandroupoli within a distance of just 2.5 nautical miles,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, stressing that the incident “constitutes a clear escalation of Turkish provocative conduct.”
On the other hand, Turkey said that it had replied to those violations Friday “based on reciprocity and in accordance with” the Turkish Air Force’s rules of engagement.
“F-16 aircraft belonging to the Greek Air Force violated Turkish airspace to the west of Gokceada (Imvros) on 16 May 2022 and to the west of (the Eastern Thrace city of) Enez on 17 May 2022. The Turkish Air Force reacted to these provocative violations on 18 May 2022, based on reciprocity and in accordance with their rules of engagement,” Tanju Bilgic, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said in a statement in reply to a question regarding Greece’s complaint.
Bilgic accused Greece of trying to mislead international public opinion.
“Greece is once again attempting to create a misperception against (Turkey) in international public by resorting to tension that it started with its own provocative actions. In this regard, we reject the baseless allegations and accusations in their entirety made against (Turkey) by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statement dated 20 May and we strongly condemn the Greek violations of our airspace,” he said.
“In order for such incidents not to recur, Greece needs to end its provocative actions in the Aegean and demonstrate a serious approach and commit to the Confidence Building Measures process initiated both bilaterally and at NATO, the meetings of which Greece has been refraining from attending for a year,” he said.