Greece’s air force on Tuesday recorded six airspace violations over the Aegean by Turkish fighter jets, a day after the release of the last of eight Turkish asylum seekers and provocative statements from Ankara.
A formation of Turkish aircraft consisting of four F-16s entered the Athens FIR at 10.35 a.m. local time (0735GMT). One pair flew over the islands of Mavria and Levitha at 27,000 feet, followed by a flight over Mavria at 27,000 feet at 10.49 a.m. The Turkish planes left the Athens FIR at 10.57 a.m.
The second pair of F-16s flew over the island of Kinaros at 26,000 feet at 10.45 a.m.; at 10.48 a.m. they were over Levitha at 26,000 feet and at 10.50 a.m. over Mavria. At 10.59 a.m. the Turkish aircraft flew over Agathonisi at 26,000 feet and they left the Athens FIR at 11:03 a.m.
The violations took place one day after Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag accused Greece and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of harboring “terrorists”, referring to the eight Turkish ex-soldiers who have been released from police custody after applying for asylum following Turkey’s failed coup attempt in July 2016.