The latest Turkish barrage of overflights in Greek airspace testifies to Ankara’s outrage over the forthcoming visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Washington – where he will meet with US President Joe Biden and talk to him about NATO “Tiger Meet” exercise to be held in areas where Turkey questions the extent of Greek sovereignty in the air and on islands that they consider should be demilitarised.
The Greek Prime Minister’s speech to the Congress on May 17, at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, is what bothers Turkey as it believes that it will create obstacles in the attempt to get the coveted “OK” from the US legislature for the approval of the supply of F-16 fighter jets.
Turkey considers possible the role of the Greek, Armenian and Jewish lobbies, which work well together in US Congress circles and in the past have made important decisions to the detriment of Turkish interests, such as its expulsion from the F-35 production program and imposing sanctions.
Of course, it does not go unnoticed in Ankara that President Erdogan is still waiting for an invitation from his American counterpart for a high-level meeting at the White House.
Turkey announced that it withdrew from its participation from the NATO exercise “Tiger Meet” because Greece “manipulates it according to its political interests”. The truth of course is completely different.
Following the massive violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets, which led to the intense protest in Athens, the Ministry of National Defence canceled the invitation to Turkey.
Turkish pro-government media, trying to present “white” as “black”, claimed that: “Greece approached the regulation of the exercise aiming at the differences between the two countries.
“The Air Force Command immediately took action against these deliberate additions and demanded that the technical regulation be changed, which is contrary to international law.”
Ankara was annoyed by the fact that the exercise would take place in areas where they question the extent of Greek sovereignty in the air and demand that the Aegean islands be demilitarised.
All Turkish media follow the government line, falsely claiming that not only Ankara decided not to participate in the “Tiger Meet” exercise, but also that Greek fighter jets harass Turkish pilots and fly over Turkish airspace.
“Athens is chasing tensions,” the Hurriyet newspaper commented, referring to 30 supposed violations by Greek fighters in three days. Yeni Şafak, in the same atmosphere, commented with an incendiary article: “Great provocations from Athens”.
The pro-government television networks are on the same wavelength.
“Greece is deaf to Turkey’s calls for a peaceful solution to the problems through peaceful means, methods and dialogue,” a journalist commented on CNN Türk.
“Turkey, due to the challenges of Greece, withdrew from the ‘Tiger Meet’ exercise and the relevant decision was served to Greek authorities,” an A Haber journalist said.
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