Port authority crews reportedly harassed by Turkish coast guard off Kastellorizo

The Turkish coast guard reportedly harassed vessels of the Greek port Authority and military as they prepared on Tuesday to collect migrants and refugees on board a dinghy near the islet of Strongyli off the coast of the southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo.

New overflights by Turkish jets

Pairs of Turkish F-16 fighter jets flew numerous times over small islands of the eastern Aegean on Thursday, according to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA).

Two jets flew over Farmakonisi, Arki and Lipsi at a height of 25,000 feet at 1.30 p.m., and were followed by two more that flew over Arki, Lipsi and Agathonisi at 9,000, 10,000 and 20,000 feet, respectively.

Turkish fighter jets fly over Aegean islands, again

Turkish fighter jets carried out a fresh round of overflights over the Aegean on Wednesday morning.
In particular, at 10.03 a.m. a pair of F-16s flew over the southeastern island of Farmakonisi at 23,000 feet.
The aircraft conducted another overflight at 10.08 a.m. over Lipsoi at 8,500 feet and, four minutes later, over Agathonisi at an even lower altitude of 7,000 feet.

Turkey's Akar: Greece's unlawful actions prevent common approach

Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar has said that Greece's actions make finding common ground with Turkey difficult.

In an interview to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Sunday, Akar said Greece has stationed armed forces in 16 of 23 major eastern Aegean islands, violating a treaty that has called for their demilitarization.

Panagiotopoulos denies Erdogan’s claim that Athens promised not to approach Imia

Defence Minister Nikos Papagiotopoulos denied the public statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Athens agreed with Ankara not to approach the Imia islets on the anniversary of the 1996 dispute over their sovereignty brought the two countries to the brink of war.

Erdogan's remark triggered a political backlash in Athens.

Minister says channels of dialogue to Turkey open

Deputy Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis said on Thursday that Greece is maintaining dialogue with Turkey but that the country's armed forces are on standby.

"Diplomacy is the first choice," he told Skai radio. "We have open channels of communication but the armed forces are ready to do what is necessary in coordination with the Foreign Ministry," he added.

Defense minister denies Erdogan's phone talk claims on Imia

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos rejected on Thursday claims by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he sent a message to Greece through Defense Minister Hulusi Akar not to make any "move" over the eastern Aegean islets of Imia, for which the two countries were brought to the brink of war twenty-four years ago.

Turkish leader revisits Aegean spat

Continuing a trend of provocative statements, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday indirectly disputed the status of the Imia islets in the Aegean Sea, over which Greece and Turkey nearly went to war in 1996, and of other islands too ahead of a telephone conversation between the two countries' defense ministers.