Greece interfered Turkey-NATO mission in Aegean Sea: Turkey

Greek aircraft “tried to prevent” a Turkish-NATO mission in the Aegean, and Turkish warplanes gave a “necessary response,” the Defense Ministry said on Dec. 17.

“Combat and support aircraft of our Air Force and the AWACS aircraft commissioned by NATO performed a NATO-coordinated NEXUS ACE training mission in the international airspace of the Aegean Sea for mutual training purposes,” the statement said.

Greek jets “tried to prevent” NATO’s NEXUS ACE mission, but the exercise was “successfully completed” after Turkish aircraft responded, the ministry said.

The two countries are often at odds over their overlapping claims of air space and territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Ankara accuses Athens of creating provocations in the region for its maximalist ambitions. Greece claims that it has a 10-mile air space although its territorial waters are six miles, which Ankara says is in violation of international law and patterns.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had initiated a deconfliction mechanism for Türkiye and Greece at NATO, but the latter suspended the meetings.

In August, the Turkish Defense Ministry said the Greek fighters locked the radars of Turkish F-16s while escorting training flight.