NEWS

Tension peaks in the Aegean

Greek diplomats yesterday complained to Ankara after two Turkish fighter jets threatened a Greek coast guard helicopter participating in a patrol organized by Frontex, the European Union’s border monitoring agency, in the latest of a string of acts of harassment by Turkey in the Aegean. According to Greek defense officials, the two Turkish F16s «locked onto» the Greek helicopter and threatened to shoot it down as it flew over Farmakonisi. The Greek air force reacted by dispatching two of its own F16s which issued a similar threat to the Turkish fighter jets, prompting them to withdraw. Before the incident with the Turkish F16s, the helicopter had received 11 radar warnings from Turkish authorities. Yesterday’s incident was the latest in a spate of Turkish transgressions this week, including radar warnings to Greek and international aircraft participating in patrols of the eastern Aegean aimed at curbing an influx of illegal immigrants heading for Western Europe via Greece.