The Greek jetfighters harassed the Turkish warplanes conducting a NATO mission over the Aegean Sea, sources from the Defense Ministry said, marking the second harassment of the Turkish planes in three days.
Sources informed that the Greek fighters locked their radars on the two Turkish F-16s while escorting NATO’s early warning plane, AWACS, and Nexus Ace performing a training flight. The Turkish jetfighters responded to the Greek planes in the same way by putting them under radar lock, sources stressed.
“Greece is targeting at NATO missions conducted by the Turkish jetfighters as part of their escalation policy,” sources said, underlining that these incidents are deliberate and planned.
NATO officials have been notified of the harassment by the Greek warplanes, they stressed, recalling a similar action was taken following the first incident. Sources underline the Greek version of the first incident was not reflective of the truth.
Putting a NATO mission under threat is not befitting with the NATO responsibilities and allied spirit, sources added.
The two countries are often at odds over their overlapping claims of air space and territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Ankara accuses Athens of creating provocations in the region for its maximalist ambitions. Greece claims that it has a 10-mile air space although its territorial waters are six miles, in violation of international law and patterns.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had initiated for the establishment of a de-confliction mechanism between Türkiye and Greece, but its meetings were stalled due to the latter’s non-participation.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has already repeated his call to his Greek counterpart for the fourth round of military-to-military talks, but no answer has been given by Athens.__Daily Hurriyet