Turkish helicopter flies over Imia islets


In a sign of escalating provocations in the Aegean Sea, a Turkish military helicopter on Friday flew over the eastern Aegean Imia islets, the site of a military standoff with Ankara in 1996.

There were two flyovers at low altitude — one at 7.59 a.m. at 30 meters and the second at 9.46 a.m. at 250 meters.

They followed a strongly-worded statement issued by Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday condemning a joint military exercise between Greece and Egypt south of the island of Rhodes, in the southeastern Aegean, as “a hostile act" and "a clear violation of international law." 

"We emphasize our expectation from Greece, as a neighboring country, to refrain from such hostile acts that are at the same time contrary to international law," the statement said. "We also call on third parties not to take part in those violations committed by Greece." 

There was no immediate reaction from Athens.