Turkish Fighter Jets Test Greece’s Territorial Claims



turkish-air-forceTurkish fighter jets have increased dramatically their incursions into Greek airspace as crisis-stricken Greek air force has to respond and confront the invaders.

According to an extensive Politico report, through these incursions Turkey challenges their neighbor’s territorial claims.

“The main reason for the [conflict] is sovereignty concerns over the Aegean region,” said Mustafa Kutlay, an assistant professor at TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara.

“The Turks are trying to enforce sovereignty over disputed islands and bring Greece to the negotiating table,” said Thanos Dokos, director-general of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. “What’s worrying are the low-altitude flights, often by helicopters, over these islands.”

According to the Turkish side, there are worries that Greece might try to extend the six nautical mile-wide zone of the Aegean Sea to the full 12 miles permitted under international treaties, thereby blocking Turkey from the Aegean. Also, Greece claims 10 miles of air space around the islands, while Turkey recognizes only six miles and argues that its fighters are flying in international air space.

Elisabeth Braw, the writer of the article, cites figures from research at the University of Thessaly, according to which in 2014 there were 2,244 incursions of Turkish fighter jets and helicopters while in May 2015 alone there were 361 incursions into Greek airspace.

According to the report, Turkey is teasing its weakened long-time foe knowing that Greece cannot afford the cost of aircraft dogfights but is forced to react.

“In the case of air incursions, you have to react,” Dokos said. “It’s very hard to unilaterally pull back from a situation of military aggression. It’s a tragic situation, because the money we’re spending on dogfights with Turkey is money that we could have spent on other areas of defense.”

However, there is more than national and military pride in these incursions. Recent large gas discoveries by Cyprus and Israel have shown that there are lucrative potential deposits under the Mediterranean, the article says. Greece is also exploring the possibility of claiming a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone around the country. Since Greece controls almost all of the islands in the Aegean, such a move could turn the sea into a Greek lake.

Both sides cannot afford to back down over the Aegean. Turkey is in the midst of an extremely ambitious air force modernization program that has already seen it upgrade its existing fleet of over 100 F-16 fighter jets. In January, the government approved the purchase of four new F-35 Lockheed Martin fighter jets as well as five Boeing Chinook helicopters; it plans to buy a total of 100 F-35s.

On the other end, Greece’s military spending is dwindling tremendously under the economic crisis. Its creditors are even asking for more cuts in military spending in order to give Greece a third loan.


11 COMMENTS

  1. and the Defense Minister Panos Kammenos’ excuse is he is waiting in line to purchase batteries for the toy helicopter interceptor remote controls. Just when you thought there was a pause in the territorial dispute we have a DM that is clueless what to do next to stop Turkish incursions.

  2. Typical turkish aggression and hubris. the Aegean indeed belongs to Greece. Additionally, how hypocritical of the turks who impose a 12 mile nautical limit off the Black Sea coastline and don’t comply with international treaties which could see Greece do likewise in the Aegean. They have a deluded perception of what constitutes fairness and the rule of law.

  3. I hope the Turks buy that 100 F-35’s. The F-35 is an extremely expensive failure. It will be a costly white elephant for the Turks. The older F-16 will have the F-35 for lunch. It already did in combat trials. so, yeah. I hope the Turks buy 100 F-35’s. they will be helping the Greeks. Greece needs to start launching SAM’s against the Turkish aircraft, especially the low-altitude aircraft. The Turks are animals and the whole of their history is made up of aggression and savage brutality. Just think ISIS, but a real country that has been around for 400 years. That’s what Turkey is.

  4. Please do not make that an issue with Turks, no one will accept Aegean sea as Greek lake, not even the international countries that includes Russia or other countries in the region, it is none sense,we do not need an other war, people are tired of wars, I think Turkish youth and Greek Youth need better WORLD THAN THEIR parents left them, territorial waters air space oil gas on and on,Greeks by the way they have all the Islands, how many is enough? Turkey rightfully so would not be land locked and it makes no economical or security sense, I assure you also Turkey is a Nuclear force, they just hide it better, they got the bomb long agO From a friendly country , war do no good for anyone. just get alone, plenty of water and air for everyone. enough killing. both Nato country, how about landing the planes in each others airports and play Backgammon drink dark coffee one call it Greek one call it Turkish and lets dance to Zorba the Greek, do not fall victim to Rothchilds banksters deice divide and rule game, don’t you see those Banksters what they are doing to Greece now,

  5. With SYRIZA in charge war with Turkey is inevitable, its like waving a red flag in front of an angry bull, the Turks won’t be able to resist the temptation of going to war with a Greece led by such Marxist internationalist traitors and weaklings.

    To avoid war one must make it clear that immediate action will be taken if certain red lines are crossed. If the Greek people elect a Golden Dawn government Turkey will think twice about undertaking aggressive violations of Greek territorial integrity.
    All Golden Dawn MPs served in the Greek military, and GD leader Nikoloas Michaloliakos and GD party spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris are both ex-commandos.

    GD MEP Eleftherios Synadinos is a former Lieutenant-general, and former Director of the Special Forces of the Greek Army. 

    GD MEP Georgios Epitideios is a former Lieutenant general, former Director of the Department of Crisis Management of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS).

  6. Listen to you, Muslim this Muslim that, you are the reason why this world seen so many wars, ignorant biggots like you make this world less safe for everyone, sooner your kind buried better this world would be, do you ever hear any Turks saying Christian this Christian that, l never heard it and l lived in Turkey for 11 years working for Nato in Izmir, your type of Greeks what Turks are worried about and they are more than ready trust me, and if you think Russia or US or Israelw ill come to your help I suggest you read Khazarian empire and find out who they are and you are up against, that relationship of that day still exist today

  7. no it does not, no one will accept that, it is like Turkey saying Sea of Marmara and cannals belong to Turks and that is that, i would suggest all of you Turk haters put it in your pents

  8. The Turks originated in Central Asia, spreading genocide and sadistic inhuman cruelty since their arrival in ancient Hellenic lands. The Turkish record in the Aegean is horrifying. Chios is one example of the Islamic Turkish reign of terror!

    A Turkish fleet under the Kapudan Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha arrived on the Greek island of Chios on 22 March, 1822. They quickly pillaged and looted the town. Orders were given to burn down the town, and over the next four months, an estimated 40,000 Turkish troops, including convicts,arrived. In addition to setting fires, the troops were ORDERED TO KILL ALL INFANTS UNDER THREE YEARS OLD, ALL MALES 12 YEARS AND OLDER, AND ALL FEMALES 40 AND OLDER EXCEPT THOSE WILLING TO CONVERT TO ISLAM. Approximately three-quarters of the population of 120,000 were killed, enslaved or died of disease. It is estimated that 2,000 people remained on the island after 21,000 managed to flee, 52,000 were enslaved and 52,000 massacred. Tens of thousands of survivors dispersed throughout Europe and became part of the Chian Diaspora.

  9. ‘both Nato country, how about landing the planes in each others airports and play Backgammon drink dark coffee one call it Greek one call it Turkish and lets dance to Zorba the Greek …’ this is a sensible and civilised approach however, the provocations and incursions into the Greek F.I.R. and territorial waters is unacceptable. The Turkish leadership needs to respect Greek territory. In the past Turkey has been found to be responsible for starting forest fires and is almost certainly encouraging people smugglers in the transport of illegal migrants into Greek waters. This does not constitute as appropriate neighbourly behaviour or lend itself to sound diplomacy.

  10. With big trouble brewing on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, you would think that Turkey had more pressing things to do than worry about imaginary nautical and airspace limits or barren rocks in the Aegean.

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