Minister fears Turkish jets ‘over the Parthenon’

Were the Greek air force to stop chasing intruding Turkish fighter jets out of Greece’s air space, Ankara might well start sending its military aircraft over the Acropolis, according to Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou. In an interview late on Tuesday with Mega Channel, Papantoniou said he felt Ankara was «absolutely» capable of «[sending military jets to] fly over the Parthenon, the Acropolis,» if its air force were left unhindered for a few days to maneuver at will over the Aegean. Turkish violations of Greek air space have rocketed over the past two years, rising from 826 in 2001 to 2,762 in 2002. Over 1,000 had been registered by early June. Papantoniou also accused Ankara of intentionally sending military jets to fly low over Greek islands, and said he was concerned by the threat of «an accident that could develop into a military incident.»

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