Fresh rejection of Turkey’s ‘harassment’ claims


Sources inside the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) have rejected claims by Ankara Tuesday that Greece’s military harassed a Turkish research vessel in the Aegean Sea.

The same sources said that the Hellenic Air Force carried out an exercise involving 29 aircraft in the central Aegean Sea. 

They said an air space notice, or Notam, designating the area was issued on February 9, five days before Turkey’s illegal navigational warning (Navtex).

The Greek jets took off around 1.30 p.m. and wrapped up the drill at 2.40 p.m, the sources said. They were not carrying chaff or flares. 

More specifically, the exercise was carried out between the islands of Agios Efstratios and Kyra Panagia and to the south near Psara. Throughout the exercise, the TCG Cesme was sailing in the sea area west of Limnos island.

The closest the Greek plane came to Cesme was 10 nautical miles, the sources said. It was flying at 19,000 feet. 

“Claims published in the Turkish media have nothing to do with reality,” the sources said.