Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Six Turkish Fighters Fly Over Agathonisi Island

DefenceNet reports that earlier today 6 Turkish Air Force Fighters flew over Agathonisi Island.

The formation of aircraft entered the Athens FIR at 13:00. While in Greek national airspace at 13:59 the formation proceeded to fly directly over Agathonisi Island.

In this case the over flight was not a case of a smaller number of aircraft breaking off from the main formation but instead the entire formation carried out the over flight. Two of the fighter did so at 5,100 feet altitude and four at 1,000 feet altitude. Greek fighters did not make it to the scene in time to intercept the Turkish fighters.

This latest incident is considered to be Turkey’s response to Greece’s refusal to negotiate about the status of the Aegean Sea, as was proposed by Turkey.

Hellenic Defence News note: Since the Turkish formation entered the Athens FIR at 13:00 while the over flight happened nearly an hour later means that the Hellenic Air Force no longer intercepts Turkish aircraft that enter the Athens FIR without submitting flight plans, thereby de facto accepting the Turkish position on this issue. At the same time, it is unimaginable that a flight of 6 Turkish aircraft could fly around the Aegean for an entire our without breaching Greek airspace numerous times. Why were they not intercepted then? It seems like there might be some credence to reports that have surfaced in the past about the Greek Air Force being ordered to stand down of violations occur in the eastern part of the Aegean.

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