Greece cancels Turkish participation in NATO Exercise

Greece has cancelled Turkey’s participation in a May 9 Greece-hosted NATO air drill following Thursday’s Turkish violations of Greek airspace of 125 unauthorized flights within 24 hours, according to media reports.

Following the cancellation of Turkey’s invitation to participated in the NATO exercise known as “Tiger Meet” Greece said that Turkey was “neither an ally, nor a friend.”

Greece also suspended confidence-building negotiations due to begin between Greek and Turkish diplomats next month.

The news comes after Greece filed a strong demarche to the Turkish ambassador in Athens on Wednesday morning over repeated violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets, which also flew over residential areas.

The demarche was presented to the ambassador by Foreign Affairs Secretary General Themistoklis Demiris, following the directions of FM Nikos Dendias, the ministry said in a statement.

Demiris said these actions are a violation of Greek sovereignty and an unacceptable provocation, and contravene fundamental principles of international law. Besides being illegal and provocative, he said, they endanger international air traffic, entirely contravene the principles of good neighborly relations between Greece and Turkey, and undermine efforts to establish a climate of trust.

Turkish F-16s flew in pairs at least four times, from 10:18 am to 12:24, over East Aegean islands.

The most recent demarche issued by the Greek government against Turkey was in September 2021, after Turkish harassment of the research vessel “Nautical Geo”.

At the orders of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the Greek ambassador in Ankara was  instructed to deliver a demarche that strongly protested the Turkish harassment of the research vessel “Nautical Geo” and the issue of an irregular navtex.