Helicopter incident keeps Turkey-Greece tensions alive – article


A Turkish helicopter flying at low altitude with its lights out near the Greek islet of Ro on Monday is seen by Athens as part of Turkey’s continued tension in the Aegean strategy, Greek daily Kathimerini reported.

 While there was no violation of Greece’s national airspace, the Greek prime minister’s office said, “night flight with the lights out is part of Turkey’s tactic of provocation from a safe distance which, however, carries the risk of an accident.”

The downplay the incident is part of the office’s desire to distance itself from the controversial language of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, the daily said.

Kammenos, earlier this month, lashed out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying he “has gone completely crazy.” The Greek defense minister’s comment arrived while responding to questions about the fate of the two Greek soldiers being held in Turkey and tensions in the Aegean.

While Ankara has not issued an official statement on the incident, Turkey’s Hürriyet daily reported that office of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has denied it occurred. 

Kathimerini also shared Turkey’s nationalist MHP opposition party Devlet Bahceli’s warning against Greece’s defence minister:

 “The Greek defense minister appears affected by mythology: he is envious of Zeus, imitates Apollo and aspires to be Poseidon. If he’s asleep he needs to wake up, if he’s having a hysterical crisis he should go to a clinic.”

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