European Union officials watched video footage of a Greek fighter aircraft intercepting Turkish F-16 jets that violated Greek airspace during a conference hosted by Athens, the Greek Reporter said on Saturday.
The EU representatives watched in real-time as Greek fighters jets took off to intercept and chase off the Turkish F-16s during the military conference held between Nov. 2 and Nov. 6 at the Hellenic Air Force Academy in Athens’ Tatoi district, the Greek Reporter said.
The event sparked discussions about the level of military tensions between Turkey and Greece, two NATO allies, and Turkish efforts to “generate a hot episode in the Aegean”, the news website said.
Turkish and Greek jets regularly get embroiled in mock dogfights due to disputes over airspace, but the number of incidents has increased since last year because of an intensifying row over territory in the Aegean and Mediterranean. The political and military tensions have raised concerns among the two countries’ NATO allies for a direct military engagement by their air forces or navies.
Turkey has sought to explore for natural gas and oil off the coast of Cyprus and Greek islands, prompting Greece to deploy warships and issue complaints to the European Union.