Greece Claims Mass Incursion by Turkish Warplanes

138 Violations Claimed Amid Rising Tensions

by Jason Ditz, February 01, 2017

Roughly a millennium of on-again, off-again hostilities between Turkey and Greece seem to be ratcheting up again recently, as Greece has reported 138 violations of Greek airspace by Turkish warplanes flying over islands in the Aegean Sea.

Turkey is said to be angry over Greece’s refusal to extradite several Turkish military officers accused of being involved in last summer’s coup attempt, and Deputy PM Veysi Kaynak condemned Greece over plans to build islands in the Aegean into habitable territory, saying they will “not be permitted to open new areas.”

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos accused Turkey of “cowboy antics” with the bellicose flyover, saying they will not allow Turkish planes to fly over their islands without being intercepted. Turkey of course is the much larger country, with the much bigger military, and that both are members of NATO likely reduces the chances of open warfare.

Turkey has been furious with a lot of nations, including the United States, over extradition demands for people they accused of involvement in the coup. After the coup failed, Turkish officials carried out a massive purge, targeting officials in both military and civilian positions around the country who they suspected of being in league with the plotters. The intensity of the purge produced a lot of international criticism, and several nations have been leery of extradition requests without substantial evidence.

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