Athens/Alexandroupolis (dpa) – Two Turkish fighter jets entered Greek airspace on Friday and approached the port city of Alexandroupolis within 2.5 kilometers.
The Foreign Ministry in Athens spoke of an “unprecedented violation of national sovereignty”. This is a “very clear escalation of Turkish provocations”.
The fact that Turkish bombers violate Greek airspace and even fly over populated areas has happened almost every day. What is new, however, is that they are heading for the port of Alexandroupolis. The US military maintains a base there through which military equipment can be transported overland to the Ukrainian border within hours. US-Greek cooperation is a thorn in Ankara’s side – thus the US avoids the sea route via the Dardanelles Strait and the Bosphorus.
This action undermines NATO cohesion and priorities and poses a clear threat to the EU, as the port of Alexandroupoli is a key transport hub for the allies, the Greek Foreign Ministry said. Athens lodged a protest with the Turkish ambassador; the EU, NATO and the United Nations (UN) have also been informed.
Ankara’s motives are unclear; So far, overflights by Turkish fighter jets have been seen as a way to challenge the sovereignty of the Greek islands. However, Ankara’s veto on Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership is now also on the table.