Minister fears Aegean mishap

As Greek and Turkish fighter jets jousted fiercely over the Aegean for the fifth day in the past week yesterday, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou condemned Ankara’s policy of violating Greek air space, warning it could result in «accidents.» «Unfortunately, violations are continuing at an unfaltering pace,” Papantoniou said at a ceremony for the delivery of the first in a batch of 35 upgraded F-4 fighters. «This is unacceptable… At some point, Turkey must realize that it cannot act as a law-breaking partner in an international system which does not tolerate such behavior.» The minister warned that wobbly relations between Turkey’s new government and the country’s military establishment «creates dangers (as) this unstable balance can lead to irresponsible behavior… The repetition of such violations always produces the danger of accidents.» Twenty Turkish jets were chased by Greek interceptors out of the Athens Flight Information Region and, in one instance, Greek air space over the Aegean yesterday.

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