Turkey committed a serious provocation on Friday midday, as F-16 fighter jets from the Turkish Air Force harassed a Greek Super Puma helicopter which was carrying out a search and rescue operation near the island of Pharmakonisi in the Dodecanese cluster.
The incident occurred a little after 11:30 am when two pairs of Turkish F-16s made four entrances and exits into Greek airspace.
As the Turkish jets were violating Greek airspace, a Greek Super Puma had lifted off from its base on the island of Chios and was in the middle of trying to locate and rescue an illegal immigrant who had fallen into the sea.
One of the F-16 pairs that flew over Kounelonisi and Pharmakonisi, apparently under orders to cause tensions, flew just 30 metres over the Greek aircraft affecting the stability of the helicopter and endangering the lives of the pilots. As aviation experts point out, the easiest way to cause a helicopter to fall is to destabilise it by using their fuel blast.
As the pilots said, the move adopted by the Turkish fighters is one of the easiest ways to cause a helicopter to lose height and drop without using weapons or dangerous aerial manoeuvres.
The missing man who had fallen into the sea was found dead.