Turkiye on Friday rejected Athens’ “baseless” allegations that Turkish aircraft violated Greece’s airspace.
In a statement, Tanju Bilgic, spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said that an F-16 aircraft belonging to the Greek Air Force violated Turkish airspace on Monday and Tuesday.
The Turkish Air Force reacted to these “provocative violations” on Wednesday, based on “reciprocity and in accordance with their rules of engagement,” Bilgic said.
“In this regard, we reject the baseless allegations and accusations in their entirety made against Turkiye by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statement dated May 20 and we strongly condemn the Greek violations of our airspace,” underlined Bilgic.
He went on to say that, with Friday’s statement, Greek side is once again attempting to create a misperception against Ankara in international public.
“In order for such incidents not to recur, Greece needs to end its provocative actions in the Aegean and demonstrate a serious approach and commit to the Confidence Building Measures process initiated both bilaterally and at NATO, the meetings of which Greece has been refraining from attending for a year,” Bilgic added.
Earlier, the Greek Foreign Ministry claimed that aircrafts belonging to Turkiye “illegally” entered its national airspace and “violated Greece’s national sovereignty.”
Turkiye has a number of issues with Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration over maritime limits and rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
While seeking to defend its fair share of maritime territory in the region, Ankara has decried recent Greek moves such as violating treaties and pacts by issuing provocative navigational alerts, militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea, and illegally encroaching on Turkiye’s continental shelf.
Turkiye, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkiye and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has, however, repeatedly stressed that it is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region – including maritime disputes – through international law, good neighborly relations, and dialogue.
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