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Greek FM sharply criticizes Erdogan defending airspace violations

The Greek Foreign Ministry sharply criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday for his comments about flights of the Greek Air Force over the Aegean.

“Whenever Greek military aircraft takes off in the Aegean, Turkish jets will follow suit,” Erdogan said during an interview with private broadcaster Haberturk.

Equating the flights of the Turkish military aircraft that violate Greece’s national sovereignty with their interception missions of the Greek Air Force is “completely unacceptable,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in statement.

Foreign Ministry Press Release

“Turkey’s effort to equate the flights of Turkish military aircraft that violate Greece’s national sovereignty with the identification and interception missions the Hellenic Air Force carries out in defense of national sovereignty, is completely unacceptable.

Turkish military aircraft violate Greek national air space on an almost daily basis, including through low-altitude overflights of inhabited Greek islands. This is a practice that Greece systematically condemns and reports, both bilaterally as well as to the competent international bodies.

Turkey’s leadership has to realise that international law must be respected by everybody, in its entirety. Selective application of its provisions merely serves to expose Turkey, while at the same time undermines regional security and stability. Specifically with regard to the Aegean, we reiterate that its legal status is clear and fully enshrined in International Law, leaving no room for doubt.

Turkey, a NATO ally and a candidate country for accession to the EU, would do well to adopt Greece’s sober, lawful, and responsible stance, promoting good neighbourly relations, for its own benefit as well as for the benefit of the wider region.”

Short after 10 o’ clock Friday morning, Turkish F-16 violated the Greek FIR and flew over the island of Oinousses near Chios, opposite of the Turkish coast.

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