Turkey - a real turkey?

Business as usual, then? Neither side recognises each other's claims to territorial waters and air space. If Turkey (who claims very few islands in the Aegean) recognised Greece's claims, vessels could only reach Izmir and the Turkish Straits (Dardanelles and Bosporus) by transiting through Great territorial waters.

These exercises are held very regularly by both sides to exercise their 'rights' and try to drag in other countries into their spat to seek international recognition of their position. A couple of years ago French, US and UK aircraft were persuaded by the Greek air force to bomb some targets less than 2 miles form the Turkish coastline, and turned through Turkish airspace to line up for the run in. Turkey, naturally, was a bit p!ssed off.

"a pair of Turkish fighter jets on Thursday entered Athens’ Flight Information Region (FIR) without submitting a flight plan and flew over two islets of the eastern Aegean, the Greek National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) said."

The FIR is not territorial air space and military aircraft are not required to submit FPs in these circumstances. There are others on this site better versed on the insanely complex arrangements within the Aegean (such as not using your embarked helo to transfer a casualty to a hospital on an Aegean island).

In sum, nothing to see, move along...
Sorting out the wheat from the chaff there but i suspect you would never in a month of Sundays get a job as a journalist on the Daily Mail.
 
This massively suprises me that someone as a member of NATO could be doing such shenanigans!
The irony is strong in this one.
 
Sorting out the wheat from the chaff there but i suspect you would never in a month of Sundays get a job as a journalist on the Daily Mail.
I'm trying to think of a suitable Red Top Headline:

Island dressing for Turkey in Greek Salad!

Mediterranean Mix: Ouzo's in big trouble?

Ouzo's kebabed my island?

Donner want a fight? Turkey flies into Greek Storm.


[Ed: that's enough].
 
More trans-Aegean willy-waving. Oinousses, the island over which the incident apparently occurred, is only 8km off the coast of the Turkish mainland.

'Greece’s government has condemned what it described as a provocative act by Turkey, whose fighter jets Athens says buzzed a helicopter carrying the Greek defense minister and the head of the armed forces who were visiting a Greek island. Turkey, however, denied its jets had ever harassed the helicopter, saying they were simply on a routine flight.

'Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday the incident on Sunday was another indication that “Turkey often exceeds the limits of both the rules of international law and of course the rules of good neighborliness.”

'In Sunday’s incident, Greek fighter jets repelled the two Turkish jets, Greek officials said. Local media reported that Turkish jets continued to fly over the Greek island of Oinousses during a visit there by Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the chief of the National Defense General Staff, Gen. Konstantinos Floros. “Such behavior by Turkey doesn’t help in defusing tension, which both sides should be seeking at this time,” Panagiotopoulos said Sunday. The Greek Foreign Ministry described the incident as “another unacceptable Turkish action” which confirms “the negative role Turkey is playing in the region, insisting on anachronistic perceptions of international relations.”

'Turkey, for its part, accused Greece of trying to escalate tensions. “Our warplanes carried out the task of recognition within the framework of routine activities in the Aegean,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement. “Trying to escalate tensions by dramatizing routine flights is of no benefit to this country,” Aksoy said. “Instead, these issues should be addressed during the confidence-building process that was initiated by the two countries’ defense ministries.”


 
More trans-Aegean willy-waving. Oinousses, the island over which the incident apparently occurred, is only 8km off the coast of the Turkish mainland.

'Greece’s government has condemned what it described as a provocative act by Turkey, whose fighter jets Athens says buzzed a helicopter carrying the Greek defense minister and the head of the armed forces who were visiting a Greek island. Turkey, however, denied its jets had ever harassed the helicopter, saying they were simply on a routine flight.

'Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday the incident on Sunday was another indication that “Turkey often exceeds the limits of both the rules of international law and of course the rules of good neighborliness.”

'In Sunday’s incident, Greek fighter jets repelled the two Turkish jets, Greek officials said. Local media reported that Turkish jets continued to fly over the Greek island of Oinousses during a visit there by Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the chief of the National Defense General Staff, Gen. Konstantinos Floros. “Such behavior by Turkey doesn’t help in defusing tension, which both sides should be seeking at this time,” Panagiotopoulos said Sunday. The Greek Foreign Ministry described the incident as “another unacceptable Turkish action” which confirms “the negative role Turkey is playing in the region, insisting on anachronistic perceptions of international relations.”

'Turkey, for its part, accused Greece of trying to escalate tensions. “Our warplanes carried out the task of recognition within the framework of routine activities in the Aegean,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement. “Trying to escalate tensions by dramatizing routine flights is of no benefit to this country,” Aksoy said. “Instead, these issues should be addressed during the confidence-building process that was initiated by the two countries’ defense ministries.”


BAU:

Greece claims 11 nm airspace around and above each island in the Aegean, compared with 6 nm territorial waters. Turkey doesn't recognise this and regular exercises its 'right' to fly in the 5 nm corridor which they see as international airspace.

Again, nothing to see, move along...
 
BAU:

Greece claims 11 nm airspace around and above each island in the Aegean, compared with 6 nm territorial waters. Turkey doesn't recognise this and regular exercises its 'right' to fly in the 5 nm corridor which they see as international airspace.

Again, nothing to see, move along...
Additionally, the Turkish-administered FIR extends over the landmass of numerous Greek islands.
 
Greece defines the FIR as territorial airspace, too.
Which is unfortunate for Greece, as the FIRs are defined by ICAO. A bit like Vaindloo Island in the Gulf of Finland, which is Estonian territory, but in the St.Petersburg FIR.
 
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It seems to be the source of a lot of hilarity I. The Aegean as both sides play games.
Like good NATO Allies and signatory to the Washington Treaty should! Did somebody say 'Cyprus'?

Article 1
The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

Article 2
The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them.


 
Yet another minor bit of points-sorting between Turkey and Greece that could easily escalate out of control.

'About 35 soldiers have reportedly marched onto a floodplain site on the east bank of the River Evros near the town of Feres on the disputed border between Turkey and Greece.

'Special forces and infantry set up a camp with a small Turkish flag flying from a tree and rejected Greek demands to withdraw. Longstanding disputes over the position of the border arise from the fact the Evros River, which marks it out, often shifts its course. The movement leaves land that is technically part of Greece to the river’s east, and land that is technically part of Turkey to its West.

'The incursion took place on Friday (AEST) and was reportedly a response to a Greek army survey of the 1.6-hectare site as part of plans to build additional border fences.'


 
A more reliable account of what occurred on the Evros River, or Greek political spin for domestic audience consumption to reassure them of the competence of the government?

'Greece on Sunday (24 May) dismissed reports that Turkish soldiers had occupied a strip of Greek territory in the Evros border region, where Athens is expanding a fence to keep migrants out.

'Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said allegations, picked up by the British press, that Turkish troops had occupied a patch of land that is normally submerged at this time of year on Greece’s side of the border were “utterly false”. Dendias acknowledged, in an interview with Skai TV, that “a presence of Turkish forces has been observed in a strip of land where some preparatory works had been made by the Greek army” after Athens would not give Turkey the coordinates of its fence expansion in Evros in advance. But Greece had asked Turkey “not to make any other move in the area”, he said. The Greek defence ministry had already on Saturday said that “at no time Greek soil has been occupied by foreign forces”.

'Turkish special forces have been present in recent weeks as the Greek Army conducts preparatory work for the expansion of the border fence to prevent massive crossings from migrants. “We will proceed with the fence expansion. It is our constitutional obligation to protect Greek soil”, Dendias said.'


 
A more reliable account of what occurred on the Evros River, or Greek political spin for domestic audience consumption to reassure them of the competence of the government?

'Greece on Sunday (24 May) dismissed reports that Turkish soldiers had occupied a strip of Greek territory in the Evros border region, where Athens is expanding a fence to keep migrants out.

'Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said allegations, picked up by the British press, that Turkish troops had occupied a patch of land that is normally submerged at this time of year on Greece’s side of the border were “utterly false”. Dendias acknowledged, in an interview with Skai TV, that “a presence of Turkish forces has been observed in a strip of land where some preparatory works had been made by the Greek army” after Athens would not give Turkey the coordinates of its fence expansion in Evros in advance. But Greece had asked Turkey “not to make any other move in the area”, he said. The Greek defence ministry had already on Saturday said that “at no time Greek soil has been occupied by foreign forces”.

'Turkish special forces have been present in recent weeks as the Greek Army conducts preparatory work for the expansion of the border fence to prevent massive crossings from migrants. “We will proceed with the fence expansion. It is our constitutional obligation to protect Greek soil”, Dendias said.'


That sounds more de-escalatory, and saves the political damage of admitting that Turkish troops had occupied 'Greek' land.
 
That sounds more de-escalatory, and saves the political damage of admitting that Turkish troops had occupied 'Greek' land.
And the pendulum swings again!

'Greece is mobilizing forces to boost defenses along its land frontiers with Turkey. The move as Turkey threatens to resume the flow of thousands of migrants to Europe through Greece. The deployment also follows plans by Greece to expand its border fence in the contentious border region.

'Officials in Athens say they are deploying more than 400 specially trained officers, including riot police, in the northeast region of Evros. The deployment on Wednesday adds to the eleven hundred officers already in the area. An additional 800 are expected arrive in the coming weeks as Greece ratchets up plans, as Defense Minister Nikos Papagiotopoulos says to defend itself from Turkey’s actions by extending an existing border fence. Soldiers and police in the region remain on a code-red alert, he says. Greece is reinforcing its defenses by expanding the fence because, officials say, it does not want to be caught by surprise if Turkey makes any sudden moves.

'Greece is now scrambling to seal its land border in the Evros region, tripling the size of an existing 12-kilometer fence — a move that has annoyed Ankara. Conservative lawmaker Tassos Hadjivassiliou explains why. "It's a no-brainer," he said. "Once this fence goes up, Turkey will be severely compromised of its ability to push through migrants. And if that happens, then Ankara will have lost its most powerful tool of leverage against Europe... and its chances, therefore, of clinching a new deal with Brussels, plus added financial support will fade."

'Ankara’s deteriorating economy and political pressure on Erdogan leadership underpin much of these crisis fears. Hostility between Greece and Turkey has risen noticeably in the Aegean recently. Over the weekend, dozens of Turkish soldiers moved to block Greek soldiers from surveying marshland along the Evros river to extend the fence. Local media and residents said they spotted troops inching into Greek territory and camping out on Greek soil — a move that enraged Athens, which lodged a protest with Ankara but later denied that any Turkish soldiers had set foot on Greek soil. "There were many suspicious movements at the time," Panagiotopoulos told a local broadcaster late Wednesday. He refused to elaborate.


 
And the inevitable Turkish counter.

'Turkey says it should be consulted about the fence expansion, noting that the Evros riverbed "has significantly changed due to natural and artificial reasons" since the border was established in 1926.

'Ankara says "technical coordination" is required, and that it would not allow any "fait accompli" on its border. Greece counters that the frontier is unchanged and that it is not obliged to consult Turkey about infrastructure on its own side of the border. "The fence is on Greek soil, beyond any doubt, and with room to spare," the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Wednesday.

'Turkey has condemned Greece for its harsh reaction to the influx of people at its border. Turkish officials also said earlier last month that the Greek coast guard had attempted to sink vessels carrying migrants and refugees toward the country's islands, opening fire and hitting people on the boats with long sticks.'


 

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