Editorial: Message of deterrence to Turkey

Turkey's political leadership - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top officials of his ruling party as well as the opposition - on a daily basis unleash rhetorical attacks against Greece, provoking our country and underestimating our people.

They speak of landing on and seizing Greek islands and maritime jurisdictions, organise provocations in the Evros Greek-Turkish border region by exploiting refugees and migrants as a tool against Greece, constantly violate Greek national airspace, continuously send fighter jets to fly over inhabited areas, and spy with impunity on various regions of our country.

Then, Ankara audaciously attempts to skew reality and complains that the Greek military, allegedly on the attack, locks on to Turkish war planes.

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Turkey is dangerously escalating tensions, its aggressive rhetoric is spinning out of control, and it behaves as if it is preparing military operations against Greece.

An incident that occurred on 23 August is characteristic.

Eight Turkish fighter jets without permission violated the Athens FIR (Flight Information Region) and flew nearly 20 miles southeast of the island of Crete.

All eight were detected in a timely fashion without visual contact by the Hellenic Air Force and subsequently fled, knowing full well that in conditions of real war they would be in trouble.

This case, with a collective lock-on to Turkish fighter planes, demonstrated the true deterrent capability of the Hellenic Air Force.

The Turkish Armed Forces attempted to explain away the incident by falsely charging that the lock-on to their planes was carried out by Russian S-300 missile systems stationed in Crete.

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