Thursday, December 3, 2009

Worsening of Turkish Provocations in the Aegean

Strategy-Geopolitics reports on a Q&A session in the Greek Parliament. Assistant Minister of Defence Beglitis expressed his concern about the increase in provocative behaviour by Turkey in the Aegean, in answer to a question posed by MP and former head of the National Intelligence Service Korantis.

The Assistant Minister mentioned that lately there has been a qualitative increase in violations which take the form of over flights of inhabited islands, adding that “this behaviour in no instance is left unanswered. We have created a framework through which we report this behaviour to the political and military institutions of NATO and the European Union, showing that Turkey’s behaviour undermines basic and fundamental principles of International Law and basic and fundamental principles of International Relations.” He also underlined the fact that he personally notified his American counterpart of this behaviour, something that will also happen at the NATO summit and the European Council.

During his question Mr. Korantis mentioned the recent flare-up in Turkish activity with regards to airspace violations and FIR infractions but also with the NOTAMs produced by Turkey regarding the Aegean which serve several purposes. He added that reconnaissance aircraft are often found in the formations of fighter aircraft overflying Greek islands “which has its own meaning”.

Hellenic Defence News note: The endless debate about Turkish provocations in the Aegean continues between Greek politicians. Is anyone in NATO or the EU even listening anymore? Just recently NATO SG Rasmussen more or less told Greece to go sort it out and NATO placated Turkey by giving Turkey senior posts in NATO. All this talk and “informing” our allies and partners about Turkey’s “behaviour” has just undermined the Greek position. At this stage these provocations have been happening for over 30 years and are considered customary. There is only one thing that will stop this but the “300” of the Greek Parliament don’t have the stomach to tackle the issue of the big white elephant in the room.

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