Turk­ish mil­i­tary jets in flurry of air space vi­o­la­tions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek-Turk­ish ten­sions were fu­eled fur­ther yes­ter­day af­ter Turk­ish fighter jets made 10 flights over an area that in­cludes the islets of Imia and Kalolim­nos, and 162 vi­o­la­tions of Greek na­tional air space.

The vi­o­la­tions were seen as a re­sponse to the drop­ping of a wreath over Imia by De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos, who flew there by heli­copter yes­ter­day morn­ing to com­mem­o­rate three Greek ser­vice­men who were killed 21 years ago when their mil­i­tary chop­per crashed at the height of the Imia cri­sis, which brought the two coun­tries to the brink of war. Speak­ing to re­porters yes­ter­day, Kam­menos struck a de­fi­ant tone, say­ing that the Greek armed forces “are ready to deal with any provo­ca­tion.” In re­sponse to Kam­menos’s visit to the Imia islets – whose sta­tus has been re­peat­edly dis­puted by Ankara – his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Fikri Isik told Hur­riyet Daily News that Tur­key doesn’t want ten­sion with Greece, but “won’t bow to fait ac­com­pli.” Kam­menos’s visit to Imia came af­ter a Turk­ish gun­boat with Chief of Gen­eral Staff Hu­lusi Akar on­board sailed around the Imia islets on Sun­day. The re­cent spike in threats em­a­nat­ing from Ankara fol­lows the Supreme Court’s re­fusal to ex­tra­dite eight Turk­ish ser­vice­men to Tur­key to stand trial for their al­leged role in the failed coup at­tempt there.Yes­ter­day a Greek court ruled that the of­fi­cers should be de­tained for three months pend­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of their asy­lum bids. The men ar­gued for their re­lease as,they have not been con­victed of any wrong­do­ing.

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