Turkey is trying to appear as victim who was allegedly provoked by fighter jets of the Hellenic Air Force.
The survey ship of the Turkish Navy “Cesme” is for the third day in the area between Lemnos and Agios Efstratios conducting hydrographic surveys in international waters but in an area that has been illegally booked by a Navtex of the coastal station of Izmir which has no authority for the Aegean Sea.
The truth about the flight of Greek F-16s in the Aegean
Sources from the Ministry of Defence say that, as of Tuesday morning, the Hellenic Air Force is conducting an exercise in which many -more than four- fighter aircraft are participating. The Greek training activity took place in a large area that had been booked in time with a NOTAM and extends from Halkidiki to the south of Skyros.
In the context of this exercise, several flights were planned from the pilots of the Greek fighter aircraft.
In no case, however, was there any kind of harassment of the Turkish hydrographic ship Cesme by Greek F-16s, competent sources of the Ministry of National Defense state.
The same sources explained to Proto Thema that the Greek fighter jets were flying at an altitude of 19,000 feet (about six kilometers above sea level) and did not approach closer than 10 miles from the Turkish ship.
Obviously, when an aircraft flies at an altitude of 19,000 feet and are 10 miles from a ship at sea level, this activity alone cannot be considered as harassment even if Turkish propaganda wants to take things to the extreme.
In addition, it should be noted that the aviation activity of the Greek fighter aircraft is part of an exercise within the Athens FIR for which the legal NOTAM was issued in time.
The Turkish ship “Cesme” is obviously moving on the surface of the sea carrying out hydrographic work on the basis of an illegal Navtex issued by the unauthorized to license research in the Aegean coastal station of Izmir.
Greek Pentagon officials did not comment on Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar’s statement that the F-16 flight near Cesme “was one of the usual harassments of our Greek neighbors” or that Ankara had given “the appropriate response”.