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Greece: Turkish Jets Overflight at Alexandroupolis an “Unprecedented Violation”

Turkish Greece overflights
Two Turkish F-16s flew near the Greek city of Alexandroupolis on Friday. Public Domain

Greece strongly condemned the overflight of two Turkish fighter jets near Alexandroupoli on Friday, calling the incident an “unprecedented violation of national sovereignty.”

The jets flew into Greek airspace within 2.5 nautical miles of the northeastern city.

“This action is a very clear escalation of Turkish provocation,” the ministry said in a statement that was read.

The statement also noted that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had instructed the ministry’s secretary general, Themistoklis Demiris, to lodge “an immediate and strong protest with the Turkish ambassador.”

The ministry said the incursion was “part of Turkey’s effort to promote its neo-Ottoman revisionism, in violation of the fundamental rules of international law.”

“This undermines the cohesion and immediate priorities of NATO, and poses a clear threat to the European Union at a critical juncture, as the port of Alexandroupoli is a key transport hub for strengthening our allies.”

The ministry said it would be informing “our allies and partners, as well as the EU, NATO and the UN” about the incident.

Turkey launches a barrage of violations with overflights over Greece

Recently, Turkey has launched a barrage of violations of Greek airspace, an issue that was raised by Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his meetings in Washington earlier in the week.

Addressing a joint session of Congress, Mitsotakis told American lawmakers that Greece will not tolerate overflights which much stop immediately.” He added that NATO does not need another source of tension in the eastern Mediterranean as it deals with Russian aggression in Ukraine.

As Congress is mulling over the State Department’s request to allow the sale of F-16 aircraft to Turkey, Mitsotakis asked to take the potential for instability in the eastern Mediterranean “into account when you make defense procurement decisions.”

The relevant section at 42′ in the following video:

Greece launched a diplomatic protest against Turkey

On April 27th, Greece launched a “strong” diplomatic protest against Turkey over the illegal overflights of Turkish jets in the eastern Aegean.

The foreign ministry in Athens summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Greece to launch the protest.

“These actions constitute a violation of Greek sovereignty, are an unacceptable challenge, and are contrary to fundamental principles of international law,” the statement from the ministry said.

Turkish aircraft have, in fact, been violating Greek airspace almost non-stop since the beginning of the year.

According to GEETHA, Turkey violated Greek airspace every single day from April 11th to April 13th. Its F-16 fighter jets flew above the Greek islands of Panagia, Oinousses, and Farmakonisi.

Back in February, Greece issued a diplomatic protest, or demarche, to Turkey over the continued provocations of Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, who have even been questioning the sovereignty of the Aegean islands.

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