Turkish, Greek jets in first dogfight after 27 months
Yorgo KIRBAKİ – ATHENS
Turkish and Greek fighter jets engaged in a mid-air dogfight over the Aegean Sea twice on April 15 in a first since January 2012, Greek media has reported.
According to the reports based on Greek military sources, four F-16s belonging to the Turkish Air Force approached the Semadirek (Samothraki) Island before the first dogfight. Four Greek F-16s took off “to locate and prevent” the Turkish aircraft. Sides faced off against each other north of Samothraki, as well as southwest of Limni (Limnos) Island.
The official website of the Turkish General Staff did not list any violations or dogfights for April 15.
Greece unilaterally claims 10 nautical miles (19 km) of airspace, as opposed to the six miles of territorial waters, as Turkey and other NATO countries accept. Athens considers any unauthorized flight in the airspace from six to 10 miles in the Aegean a “violation.”
Dogfights between Turkish and Greek aircraft over the Aegean Sea had significantly decreased due to the economic crisis Athens is struggling with.