ATHENS – An agreed detente between the countries ended almost as it began, Turkey has upped provocations by violating Greek airspace 168 times in one day, further raising worry that it could become more dangerous.
“Numbers speak for themselves,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaoioannou told a briefing of diplomatic correspondents in Athens about the Turkish fighter jets continuing to enter Greek air space.
Papaioannou described Turkey’s provocations as “unprecedented,” adding that the country’s military aircraft also flew over inhabited Greek islands in the eastern Aegean, including Rodos, Kos and Kalymnos, said Kathimerini.
“At this critical and difficult moment for Europe and NATO, Turkey’s behavior violates fundamental principles of international law, while also undermining the cohesion of NATO,” Papaioannou said.
The defense alliance has looked the other way about the violations and admitted it wants no part of the troubles, Turkey being so important to NATO that no sanctions are being brought.
Papaioannou said that Athens has informed the United Nations, the European Union NATO about what he emphasized constitutes “a violation of Greek sovereignty.” He said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will raise the issue during his visit to the United States on May 16-17.