Greece says Turkey’s airspace incursions ‘unprecedented’
Greece on Wednesday accused its neighbour Turkey of instigating tensions in the Aegean by violating its airspace with fighter jets.
“Numbers speak for themselves,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaoioannou told a briefing of diplomatic correspondents in Athens, adding that Greece registered 168 airspace violations and 42 illegal overflights in a single day on Wednesday, April 27.
Papaioannou described Turkey’s provocations as “unprecedented,” adding that the country’s military aircraft also flew over inhabited Greek islands in the eastern Aegean, including Rodos, Kos and Kalymnos.
The spokesman said last Wednesday’s overflights broke the previous record of single-day overflights set in 2020 which was 23.
“At this critical and difficult moment for Europe and NATO, Turkey’s behaviour violates fundamental principles of international law, while also undermining the cohesion of NATO,” Papaioannou said, adding that the repeated incursions contradict the spirit of good neighbourly relations cultivated by Greece.
Papaioannou said that Athens has informed the United Nations, the EU and NATO about what he emphasised constitutes “a violation of Greek sovereignty.” He said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will raise the issue during his visit to the United States on May 16-17.
(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)