Turkey ups the ante in Aegean

Turkish authorities on Saturday sent radar warnings to a Greek coast guard helicopter participating in a patrol organized by Frontex, the European Union’s border monitoring agency, continuing a spate of provocations by Turkey in the Aegean over the past two weeks. The incident, which comes just a few days before Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas visits Ankara for talks on boosting bilateral rapprochement, prompted a cautiously worded statement by Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos. «We are paying very careful attention to what is being done in the Aegean, both by Turkey’s air force and by its navy,» he said. The warnings were sent to the helicopter on Saturday morning as it flew over the island of Farmakonisi during a patrol aimed at spotting smuggling boats carrying would-be immigrants. The helicopter later spotted a boat carrying 42 migrants, who were subsequently detained. Saturday’s incident came a day after two Turkish fighter jets threatened another Greek coast guard helicopter.

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