In recent years, Turkey may have “disappeared” for obvious reasons the border lines with Greece in the Aegean Sea, even on school maps, but in a show (Açık ve Net’e) on Habertürk, the television channel directly acknowledged the limits of their jurisdiction in a relevant map.
Speaking on the show, analyst and retired Brigadier General Özgür Tör, answers journalist Kübra Par question on the borders of the Turkish territorial waters which are marked with a red line in the map shown.
To Par’s question on whether the “red line” reflects the border of Turkish territorial waters, Tör answers in the affirmative, adding that: “it is identified with the borders of the Athens FIR” (Flight Information Region).
Continuing, the retired military chief claims that the borders of the FIR, with the zigzags, angles and turns in the Aegean due to their peculiarity, create problems for both the civil aviation aircraft and the Turkish warplanes.
As he argued, this limit “cannot be observed” and that it should be “simplified”, meaning the well-known provocative positions of Ankara against the Athens FIR.
The Athens FIR was delimited within the framework of regional air navigation conferences of Europe in the years 1950, 1952 and 1958 and covers the Greek national airspace and other scattered parts of the international airspace since it does not concern issues of sovereignty but jurisdiction.
In 1974, Turkey arbitrarily issued NOTAM 714 (“notice to airmen”) with which it attempted to extend its jurisdiction to the middle of the Aegean within the Athens FIR.
Greece then declared the Aegean a dangerous area (NOTAM 1157). ICAO appealed to both sides without success.
Finally, Ankara, in 1980, again unilaterally, recalled NOTAM 714 when it found that the measure harmed its interests and in particular its tourism.
In the same show, the recent visit of the Greek Deputy Minister of Defence Nikos Hardalias to Agios Efstratios was also criticised, with Turkey describing his move as “provocative”.