Athens, Ankara Deny Helicopter Flight Entered Greek Airspace



Turkish media are reporting comments from the country’s leadership denying one of its helicopters violated Greek airspace on Monday.

The office of the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, was quoted by Hurriyet newspaper as rejecting accusations carried in the Greek press that the helicopter flew over the Greek island of Ro on Monday night.

Ro is a tiny island near the Turkish coast in the Mediterranean, and is among Greece’s easternmost outposts, lying just a few kilometers from the Turkish resort of Kas.

On Tuesday, the Greek prime minister’s office also said it had not found any airspace violation but accused the ‘lights-out’ flight near Greek territory of being a hazardous maneuver which sparked a warning.

Greece’s Ministry of Defense earlier said a military unit stationed at Ro responded by following “established procedures”.

There was no visual contact with the helicopter and only its sound was heard, the defense ministry added. Warning shots were also fired.

The latest incident comes amid a war of words between senior Greek and Turkish politicians, with a far-right ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashing out at Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on Tuesday, reportedly saying: “We will pull out the teeth of all those who are grinding them.”