Turkey argues that their survey vessel “Cesme” was “harassed” by Greek F-16 west of Lemnos.
The allegations were made by the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was earlier on Tuesday who added that, “Turkey gave the appropriate answer”.
According to the publication of the Turkish “Anadolu” press agency, “four F-16 aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force approached the TCG Cesme west of Lemnos”
According to the agency, one of the four Greek F-16 fighters approached very close dropping a “chaff cartridge” at a distance of two nautical miles from the research vessel.
“It was one of the usual harassments of our Greek neighbors”, said Akar. “We gave the appropriate answer within the framework of the regulations. “Our attitude, decision, and efforts we will make on this issue are clear. Nobody should doubt that”, Akar stated.
At the same time, Turkey, in anticipation of the new round of exploratory contacts with Greece, has scheduled an exercise called “Blue Homeland” from February 25th to March 7th. The exercise will involve 87 ships of the Turkish Navy and Coast Guard, 27 aircraft, 12 helicopters, F-16s, F-4s, as well as amphibious forces.
The Turkish Navy survey ship TCG ‘Cesme’, is conducting unauthorized hydrographic works in the center of the Aegean Sea. The Navtex issued for its works was illegally issued by Turkey and not by Greece which is the country that has the authority to issue such naval warnings for the Aegean archipelago.
The Turkish media are fueling the tense atmosphere by reporting the alleged incident as a major threat for the safety of “Cesme”.
“Greek jets harass Turkish research ship in Aegean Sea“, is the title of an article in Anadolu.
“Harassment of Turkish ships from Greece. Tension in the Aegean Sea”, writes Sabah.
“Greece has exceeded its limits again! Harassment of Turkish ships by Greek F-16″, comments Ahaber.com.