Number of dogfights between Greece, Turkey hits record low

lThe number of dogfights between the military planes of Turkey and bailed-out Greece hit a record low this year.While the annual number of dogfights was between 300 and 500 in previous years, this number is currently at 79 and is not expected to exceed 100 by the end of the year.

The number of dogfight cases between the Aegean neighbors was 386 in 2007, 382 in 2008 and 402 in 2009. In 2010, the year when the debt crisis centered on events in Greece, where the cost of financing government debt was rising, Greece could no longer bear the cost of dogfights with Turkey. 

The total number of mutual violation of each other’s territorial waters and airspace recently approached the lowest level in the last three decades. According to figures provided by the Turkish General Staff, the total number of Greek and Turkish military encounters during exercises and drills has so far reached 192. Greek and Turkish pilots -- who encountered each other 31 times in January, 34 times in February, 25 times in March, 30 times in April, 23 times in May, 22 times in June and 27 times in July -- have been involved in dogfights only 79 times this year. During that same period, Greek planes violated Turkish airspace 93 times.

In the meantime, Greek and Turkish warships and assault boats have also gone to great lengths in order not to encounter each other in the Aegean Sea. This year so far Greek warships and assault boat violated Turkish territorial waters only 23 times, while this number was no less than 150 in previous years.

A firm mutual will displayed by the prime ministers of the two countries played a key role in the decrease of these numbers.

Back in January, delivering a speech at a gathering of senior Turkish diplomats in Erzurum, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou asked, “What is Turkey trying to prove?” He was addressing Turkish ambassadors and complained about what he said were violations by Turkish jets of Greek airspace earlier in January. “On Wednesday, eight Turkish planes flew over a Greek island. This might be routine for Turkey, but such actions lead Greeks to wonder whether Turkey is seeking a different course,” Papandreou said at the time. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu were also present at the occasion.

Erdoğan chose to respond to Papandreou in a mild tone in a bid to not let harsh words cast a shadow over peaceful messages delivered by both leaders.

After listening to his Greek counterpart’s reproachful speech and upon his return to Ankara, Erdoğan held meetings with the General Staff and the Air Force Command, asking them to reduce the number of flights over the disputed Aegean Sea. At a spring meeting of the National Security Council (MGK), bringing together top political leaders and military commanders, Erdoğan asked Air Force Commander Gen. Hasan Aksay for a detailed briefing of the course of affairs regarding the flights.

In Athens, meanwhile, Papandreou followed a similar line and paved the way for decreasing the number of flights over the Aegean Sea, where Greek and Turkish military planes encounter each other. The Greek Air Force ordered its pilots to not come within two miles of Turkish warplanes, Sunday’s Zaman learned.
The tension between the two NATO allies concerning the dispute over the Aegean Sea gradually decreased after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002. Yet, the militaries of the two countries have also made a significant contribution to decreasing the tension.

Greek authorities frequently accuse Turkish fighters of violating Greek airspace. The Turkish military, constantly dismissing Greek charges of airspace violations, asserts that Turkish military planes face charges of airspace violation every time they pass through the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR Athens). All commercial planes must submit flight information before passing through FIR Athens, but international law makes it clear that military and other state aircraft are not required to give the same notification.
In 2006, a Greek pilot was killed when his plane collided with a Turkish jet during air combat maneuvering over the Aegean.

Following the fatal accident, then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt visited Athens in 2007 to prevent further tension between Greece and Turkey.

In May 2008, then-Greek Chief of General Staff Gen. Dimitrios Grapsas also paid an official visit to Ankara, where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Büyükanıt. Earlier that month, regional rivals Greece and Turkey held a rare joint drill to improve relief responses to natural disasters. It was the third joint drill of its kind, organized as part of confidence-building measures aimed at easing tension between the neighboring nations’ armed forces.

In June 2008, then-Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. İlker Başbuğ hosted visiting Greek Army General Staff Chief Lt. Gen. Dimitrios Voulgaris, the first Greek chief of General Staff to make an official visit to Turkey.

In November 2010, Greek Naval Forces Commander Vice Adm. Dimitrios Elefsiniotis and Chief of General Staff Gen. Fragkoulis Fragkos paid significant consecutive visits to the Turkish capital in December 2010.

All of these meetings have served as important opportunities for improving mutual understanding between the militaries of the two countries.

In a surprise decision, the Turkish General Staff announced on May 24 in a brief statement on its website that the annual Efes (Ephesus) exercises, involving land, air and naval drills, and the Denizkurdu (Sea Wolf) maneuvers, held at sea every two years, had been canceled. The General Staff had organized a press tour for the maneuvers, scheduled to start on May 25.

In early June, Greek Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Vasileios Klokozas responded positively to an invitation from his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Aksay, to attend ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Air Force.

The two neighbors reciprocally cancelled military exercises in Cyprus last year in the hope of not hurting ongoing peace talks to reunify the divided island and observers claimed at the time that the cancellation of the Aegean exercises could be interpreted as being part of similar steps aimed at improving the reconciliation process the two governments started in recent years.

Nevertheless, despite all of these positive signs and steps and notable improvements in their ties over the past decade, the two neighbors have not yet been able to reach a breakthrough on essential problems concerning the Aegean Sea.

2 σχόλια:

  1. -H Ελλάδα λόγω της οικονομικής κρίσης αδυνατεί να αποροφήσσει το κόστος των αερομαχιών

    -Η αμοιβαιότητα όπως εκφράστηκε απο την συνάντηση των δύο πρωθυπουργών έπαιξε σημαντικό ρόλο και στις αβλαβείς διελεύσεις

    -Η Ελληνική Πολεμική Αεροπορία διέταξε τους πιλότους της να μην πλησιάζουν τα τουρκικά πολεμικά αεροπλάνα σε απόσταση μικρότερη των δύο μιλίων

    -Η Ομιλία Παπανδρέου στο Ερζερούμ -σημειωτέον ανέτρεψε την φιλοσοφία Νταβούτογλου μπροστά στο σύνολο των Αξιωματούχων της Τουρκικής διπλωματίας- επέφερε την πίεση του Ερντογάν στην τουρκική πολεμική αεροπορία στην οποία σύστησε αυτοσυγκράτηση

    -Αμοιβαιότητα στην αναστολή στρατιωτικών ασκήσεων με σκοπό την δημιουργία κλίματος συμφιλίωσης παρόλο που τα βασικά προβλήματα στοπ Αιγαίο παραμένουν

    Σημειώστε τον χρόνο της δημοσίευσης του άρθρου . Τίποτα δεν γράφεται τυχαία στον Τουρκικό τύπο

  2. Δούλεμα υψηλού επιπέδου!!!
    Μέχρι πρότινος εκπαιδεύονταν να πετούν πάνω από το Αιγαίο παραβιάζοντας τον εναέριο χώρο, τώρα έχουν αναλάβει να εκπαιδεύονται υπερασπίζοντας το, επόμενο είναι οι παραβιάσεις να έχουν μειωθεί, στο κάτω κάτω είναι σε υποθήκη υπό των ιδιωτών Τραπεζιτών όπως και τις ιδιωτικής Τράπεζας τις Ελλάδος.

    Αλλά ο υπερπατριωτικός Έλλην ακόμα δε έβαλε για τη Συγκρότηση Επιτροπής Λογιστικού Ελέγχου του Ελληνικού Δημόσιου Χρέους ΟΥΤΕ 500 χιλιάδες υπογραφές ΕΔΩ!

    Φίλοι γνωστοί γείτονες όλοι θα πρέπει να συμβάλουν! να ξεπεράσουν τις 500 χιλιάδες μέχρι μέσα του Σεπτέμβρη!


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