DefenceNet reports that today Turkey for the first time attempted an actual interception of a Frontex aircraft which was patrolling at an altitude of 2,000 feet north of Farmakonisi Island and within Greek airspace. The Estonian Frontex aircraft was warned by the operations centre of the approaching Turkish aircraft and had time to move away from the area. When the Turkish aircraft approached the FIR border, while still in the Istanbul FIR, the Frontex aircraft had already left the area.
The incident started at 10:55 in the morning when the Turkish ground station DATCA started sending warning messages to the Estonian aircraft, as has happened in the past. The warnings claimed the Estonian aircraft was inside Turkish airspace and it would have to leave the area or else a tactical operation would be mounted against it. The Estonian Frontex aircraft continued its mission in other areas, which Turkey evidently does not consider to be in the Turkish FIR, and landed at Kos airport at 13:46.
This is the second day in a row where Turkey is creating tension in the Aegean, today by intercepting a Frontex aircraft in practice.
Further than this incident, a formation of 6 Turkish fighters violated Greek airspace. This was followed by a formation of two aircraft and then a single aircraft. The number of airspace breaches totalled 3. This follows yesterday’s incident with Turkish fighters flying directly into a Greek exercise area (see here).
Hellenic Defence News note: It is becoming clearer every day that many Greek areas of the Aegean are in practice becoming not just disputed areas, but areas that the Greek government does not consider worth defending. What would any other self respecting nation do in this situation? The current Greek policy cannot even be described as a policy of appeasement anymore, it has gone beyond that, far beyond.