Greek Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos spoke about the incident that took place on Sunday, when Turkish fighter jets harassed the helicopter that himself and the Chief of General Staff General Konstantinos Floros were flying in.
The Minister of Defence and the Chief of General Staff, were visiting outposts in Oinousses and Farmakonisi in the eastern Aegean close to the Turkish mainland.
Shortly after take-off from from Oinousses, the helicopter carrying the two top military heads of Greece, was harassed by a pair of Turkish F16 fighter jets.
Panagiotopoulos condemned the Turkish provocation, stating from Farmakonisi: “Shortly before, the helicopter that transported us was harassed by Turkish fighters. I have to admit that we did not feel this harassment. On the contrary, when we looked up at the sky we saw the Greek fighters who had already expelled the Turkish fighters from the area. What I would like to say, however, is that such behaviour on Turkey’s part does not help to ease the tension that both sides should seek at this time. However, we are not afraid at all. I would like to congratulate the members of the Armed Forces who are guarding the borders as vigilant guards along the entire length of the country’s land and sea borders, as they have always done. ”
During his visit to the outposts, Panagiotopoulos had the opportunity to observe the guards, monitor compliance with the coronavirus measures and see the high morale of officers and soldiers serving at the outposts.
The Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned yesterday’s provocative harassment by the Turkish fighter jets. “This is another unacceptable Turkish action,” the Ministry said in a statement. “An action that reaffirms once again Turkey’s negative role in the region, insisting on anachronistic perceptions of international relations as well as a deadlocked crime.”
“We call on her to enter the 21st century. To follow the example of Greece and other countries in the region and to work constructively in the context of good neighbourly rules, respecting and not systematically violating international law,” the statement concluded.