Ankara brings up issue of Thrace minority again

Ankara brings up issue of Thrace minority again

The Turkish Foreign Ministry reopened the issue of a “Turkish minority” in Thrace, northeastern Greece, again on Friday and urged Athens to safeguard its rights. 

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy also called on Athens to extradite Turkish nationals in Greece linked to the movement of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara claims masterminded the failed coup in Turkey in 2016. 

Meanwhile, Greek defense sources said that Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace three times on Friday. 

Two F-16 fighter jets entered the Athens Flight Information Region at 12.42 p.m. without submitting a flight plan and then flew over the islet of Farmakonisi a minute later at an altitude of 18,000 feet, the sources said.

Earlier in the day, an unidentified Turkish aircraft flew south of Agathonisi at an altitude of 20,000 feet.

The Turkish aircraft were intercepted by Greek jets in line with international rules of engagement.

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