Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Greece reports mass Turkish air incursions as tensions simmer

Melinda Barton | 04 February, 2017, 02:49

About reports claiming Greece had ordered military reinforcements in Kos island, Muftuoglu said: "Greek military drill is a clear violation of worldwide law".

"Geography is fate and we can not choose our neighbors", Yildirim said.

According to government sources, Tsipras told Merkel that Turkey's actions are undermining Greek-Turkish relations, peace and stability in the wider region. "Greece will not be permitted to open new areas here", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said during a roundtable interview with reporters on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Greece reported mass incursions by Turkish military aircraft over the central and southern Aegean, which Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos called "cowboy antics".

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since last week, when a Greek court refused the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers allegedly involved in last July's attempted coup in Turkey.

"We are behaving reasonably so there are no tensions with our neighbors", the newspaper quoted him as saying while on an official trip to Latin America.

Greece's sovereignty in the eastern Aegean was also disputed by Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hussein Muftuoglu, who claimed Greece has no right to conduct military exercises on the island of Kos, as it is, he claimed, "demilitarized".

"Greece has recently increased the frequency of its border violations".

Greece, which says Turkey was not party to that treaty because of its neutral stance in the war, started to militarize some islands after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

The island of Cyprus is now divided into two parts, with a UN-monitored ceasefire line.