ANKARA – Turkey, which has repeatedly violated Greek airspace with fighter jets without any sanctions from NATO now will not take part in the defense alliance’s Tiger Meet drill in Greece in June, citing a vague reason of “provocation.”
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported the pull-out that comes during a time of rising tension between the countries with Turkey always defended as a key partner of NATO despite buying Russian-made S-400 missile systems that compromise the alliance and could be used against Greece in a conflict.
As a member, Turkey is supposed to participate in the drill but there was no report that anything would be done about the refusal as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to snub his nose at the alliance and gets away with it.
The news agency blamed Greece and said there were changes to the drill’s technical regulations it said were contrary to international law, and Turkey said it wouldn’t take part unless its demands were met.
Tiger Meet is a NATO initiative that seeks to promote solidarity between allied air forces, and is held annually in different countries. This year’s exercise is scheduled for May 9-22.