Oleg BurunovAll materialsWrite to the authorAnkara claims Athens used a Russian-made S-300 missile system to take aim at Turkish F-16 fighter jets as they conducted a reconnaissance mission in international airspace on August 23, in what Turkey slams as “hostile action”. The Greek government rejects the accusations. The Greek Foreign Ministry has claimed that senior Turkish officials undermine NATO’s unity by making unfriendly remarks with respect to Greece.The Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that “Greece will not join Turkey in the slide containing outrageous and beyond-all-limits remarks and threats, taking place on a daily basis.”
Athens “will immediately inform” its “allies and partners regarding the content of the provocative statements of the last few days, in order to make clear who is undermining our alliance’s cohesion at a particularly dangerous juncture,” according to the statement.
The Ministry pledged that they would “continue to serve as a pillar of stability and security for the wider region, on the basis of the rules of International Law and the International Law of the Sea.”The statement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Athens to “look at history” and warned that Greece will face serious consequences if it continues to “harass” Turkish planes.
“If you go further, you will pay a heavy price. We have one thing to say to Greece: Remember Izmir,” Erdogan added, referring to the capture of the city by Turkish forces, which marked the end of the 1919–1922 Greco-Turkish War.
This followed Erdogan slamming Greece’s actions against the Turkish air forces in the Aegean Sea last month as a “provocation”, adding that these were “part of a plan to destabilize the situation in the region.”
Greece Calls on EU to Pursue Tougher Policy Towards Turkey29 October 2021, 16:36 GMTLate last month, CNN Turk cited Turkish Defense Ministry sources as saying that Greece had deployed an S-300 air defense system to track the F-16 fighters of the Turkish air forces performing a reconnaissance mission west of the island of Rhodes on August 23.
Turkish media reported that "despite these hostile actions, the planes fulfilled their planned tasks and have safely returned to their bases." Sources in the Greek Defense Ministry, however, flatly denied Turkey's claims that Athens deployed its S-300 system against Turkey's F-16s, describing Ankara’s statements as "myths" aimed at creating a hostile attitude toward Greece.
Greek government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou for his part accused Turkey of trying “to make an impression throughout the preceding period with the escalation of rhetoric and fabrications that are completely contrary to truth and reality,” He emphasized that Greece has always respected its obligations within NATO, and is a “factor of stability and peace” in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.The relations between Athens and Ankara have been complicated for decades, with Greece and Turkey being on the verge of an armed conflict three times in the summer of 2020. Greece had to mobilize its armed forces after Turkey launched a seismic survey in the Eastern Mediterranean, an area that Athens considers its exclusive economic zone.