The Greeks who raised the country’s flag over uninhabited islets in the eastern Aegean say they did it to honor Giorgοs Baltadoros, the fighter pilot who lost his life when his Mirage fighter crashed off Skyros last week.
Speaking to Greek media, Charalambos Tsagalas, one of the group said that it was a spontaneous decision to sail from Fourni last Friday to nearby islets and raise the Greek flag.
“We did not want to provoke Turkey; we wanted to honor Baltadoros,” he said.
He also revealed that the group raised flags on a total of five islets south of Fourni, including Anthropofas.
“We returned the next day (Saturday) to check that all the flags were in place. They were as we left them,” he added.
On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country’s coast guard removed a Greek flag from an islet, whose sovereignty is disputed by Ankara.
He did not specify which islet he was referring to.
However, Greece later described as “provocative” his claims, saying there had been no violation of Greek territory.