Overflight of Turkish RF-4s over Kastelorizo

The Hellenic Air Force announced today that a formation of two Turkish RF-4 fighter – tactical reconnaissance aircraft entered the Athens FIR at 15:30, flying over the Greek island of Megisti (Kastelorizo), at 1,000 feet altitude . A minute later, the aircraft left the Athens FIR.

It is assumed that the pilots of the Turkish photo-reconnaissance aircraft photographed military facilities of the island.

This is the fourth time that Turkish jet fighters fly over Greek territory since the beginning of 2011. Earlier this year the Turkish Air Force conducted two overflights over Greek islands in October 2011 and an overflight in January.

Sources:
geetha.mil.gr
geetha.mil.gr

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1081602955 Anestis Mike

    Shoot them down next time.Or behave the same as if you would be at your home..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WJXRX5QSFULWLWSYB3CNSTKJV4 CYCLOPS

    Yes, shoot them down already. Noone will complain when you pack up the pieces and ship them to Ankara in a box.

  • John

    Well it might not be so simple to do so. For several reasons.

    First of all Kastelorizo is a long way from mainland and extremely close to Turkey. In this incident Greek fighters most probably did not even had time to take off for interception before the whole incident ended. Putting precious AA missiles there is a sure sacrifice during wartime as the opponent will easily take them out with cheap artillery shells.

    Secondly. This particular island as all Greek islands in Eastern Aegean are small and their corresponding national airspace surrounding them has also limited surface. In most cases these islands are also surrounded by international airspace (there is no continuity of national airspace with the mainland) . Note that in international airspace Turkey can legally fly its aircraft. Taking into consideration the extremely fast speed of modern jet fighters imagine this scenario: a Turkish fighter enters the Greek national airspace and flies over a island with direction from East to West. We shoot it down. Most probably with the limited time of the overflight and its speed this aircraft will crash in international waters!

    Can you imagine what the reaction of Turkey would be? It is 110% certain that Ankara will claim that we shot down this aircraft in international airspace and that the Greeks are to blame for aggression etc… It is true that the image of Greek and Turkish radars in the Aegean is also shared to NATO HQ in Naples, Italy. So there might be a proof from NATO, a trusted (?) independent (?) 3rd party. However even if NATO supports truth then Turkey will say the airspace in Aegean is tight, boundaries are very close, and at these speeds mistakes can be made. So Greece will still be presented as an aggressor to the rest of the world. You see not many people in the world know about this dangerous game that Turkey plays in the Aegean. Before making such a move we should first have inform the world about the aggressive revisionist behavior of Turkey in the Aegean.

    Finally, there are also other cases of national airspace violations in the world that do not end up in shooting down aircraft. Especially during the cold war there were many incidents and still such things happen. Although these incidents are not necessarily relevant to the reality in the Aegean, Turkey will also reference them to support its claim that Greeks are to blame…

    In short, shooting down the aggressor is a delicate, complicated and even risky move that needs the preparation and coordination of military and mainly diplomatic resources.

    • Kdragases

      Excellent assesment John. Notice that they do not overfly the Evros border as it would be too cut and dry and clearly offer no excuses for Turkey to use. The Turks are not stupid, unfortunatelly the correct response is to intercept, (when you can), light them up with radar and offer them a glimpse of the possible consequences should they decide to take things a step further. We may not be able to beat them but as long as they realize that they will lose quite a lot of their precious toys and have Istanbul, Izmir and the Bosphoros bridges converted to rubble it may be enough to sober them up from their delusions of empire.

    • Emre

      Nice analysis John. Meanwhile it might also be an interesting strategy for Greece to create an incident with Turkey. Imagine a total war between Greece and Turkey. A lot of buildings coming down, people forgetting the economical crisis in Greece due to nationalist feelings, a lot of help to Greece, another erasing of debt. Whole construction industry would boom. Imagine Greece losing one island but regaining its whole economy? Today is the day of economical wars. Even if you win an island but your economy is broke, you have absolutely no say in your country. Lets think by brain and not by heart. Maybe it is an exit for Greece even if you lose a war. (Look at Germany).

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRWQIPZ5KI4JJLAUGJKHSCGYHA atomic

        @ Emre.

        Turkey tried to gain a Greek islet already in what’s known as the ‘Imia incident’. A Turkish flag was raised on Imia, the event was televised live, the prime minister at the time declared that Imia was ‘Turkish land’ and it was jingoism an Turkish pride all the way, lovely…

        Behind the scenes things were totally different, when it became apparent that Greece was ready to go to war with Turkey over Imia the Turkish president AND the prime minister phoned the US president at the time Bill Clinton and, to quote an infamous line from his autobiography ‘My Life’ “…implored (that means ‘begged’) me to stop this escalating further…”.

        So, a week after Ciller declared to the Turkish people and the world that Imia was ‘Turkish soil’ Greek troops landed on Imia and pulled down the same Turkish flag that was shown being raised on Turkish television.

        That doesn’t say a lot for the so-called ‘mighty’ Turkish army that it was incapable of holding onto a barren rock and was so ready to back down against the much smaller army of Greece, does it?

        So let’s have no more talk of war, Turkey has shown more than once in the last few decades that despite the rhetoric and propaganda, in reality it has and never had any intention of a full scale war with Greece.

        Even a Turkish F16 shot down over the Aegean by the Hellenic Air Force back in 1996 wasn’t enough for war, Turkey simply hushed the incident up and declared a news blackout for years.

        So, heightened tensions with Greece, yes. Artificial crises with Greece, yes. The occasional stage managed hot incident with Greece, yes.

        War with Greece, no, that was never on the cards.

        • Emre

          I also don’t think that a war would surge between the 2 countries. I remember the “rock” issue you mention. Ciller in that time tried to play for nationalist feelings and tried to be a hero.
          Mighty Turkish army 10 years ago was formed only by pure number of soldiers. Today, Turkish army continues to be a weak army but it is trying to ammend these technological weaknesses by improving national technology instead of buying directly the technology. I assume that in 10 years time we will be reaching to Israeli-level highly trained technologically advanced army.
          What I was suggesting is that for Greece these high tentions might be a strategical advantage to change its people’s focus from economical issues to other issues and it might even help your economy.
          Turkey is already being targeted by several countries by its new assertive stance, a war with Greece wouldn’t help us at all both economically both in the international stage.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRWQIPZ5KI4JJLAUGJKHSCGYHA atomic

            War is never a help to an economy, unless you’re an advanced weapon producing nation such as the US, China or Russia and it’s somebody else’s war.

            And starting nationalistic tendencies with an ‘aggressive’ neighbour to keep the hoi poloi at home from thinking how shit their situation is smacks of despotism and avoiding the issues.

            Too many Greek governments over the decades have glossed over the true extent of state poverty, corruption and ineptitide.

            Rather than continuing to avoid the issue by starting tensions with Turkey it’s a far better idea for Greece to deal with the very real problems that led it to where it is now.

            And, rather than pull stupid ‘tension raising’ stunts in the Aegean to show how ‘strong’ it is or claim islands and islets that are obviously Greek, Turkey should instead sign the Law of the Sea convention and/or take the issue to the ICJ.

          • Emre

            I agree but as Turkey know that Law of Sea Convention will favor Greece (also ICJ) and turn agean in Greek sea, we prefer not to accept that. Law of Sea Convention is a law that was found by big powers to explore more their coastal areas. Using it in the Agean favors Greece a lot. As I know this international law doesn’t MAKE countries obliged to sign that. Just like Kyoto agreement. If you remember US knew that if it signed, it would mean several thousands of lost jobs and it didnt’ sign it. So it is a big problem to solve unless there is a special treaty or agreement between Greece and Turkey.

    • Angelo Moshos

      And you think that the incident will stop there, if they take over Kastelorizo ? Thrace has about 2,000 tanks waiting with the engines on ! The Greeks need an exit to the Black Sea very badly my friend ! The Turks will pay a very heavy price especially that now their economy is going well while for Greece, they have nothing to loose but gain again as in the 19th century, at which time they double thir land even if they had vertually NO ARMY ! Read History it will help. Remmeber they are Islamists and the West do NOT like them to get more ower !

  • Mordred

    The best solution for this kind of behaviour by our nice and polite neighbours is much simpler than ground anti aircraft crap etc.

    We just let some thousand pigeons, seagulls, balloons with metallic parts flying.
    Can they blame us for being aggressive?
    Let them blame the birds instead !!!

    • Emre

      Now, this is a really interesting ideia, cost effective. I don’t know if seagulls or pigeons can gain heights of a warplane but still interesting :)

      • Mordred

        300 ft…some meteorological balloons with metal residues that can bring to pcs the blades of jet engines are nicer.
        Cost effective yes Emre.

        Instead of pushing for our nice islands, push your government to educate your eastern parts, get Kurds in the game, accept minorities that are an inherent part of your geographical location, instead of killing them.

        Somewhere else, I ve read about the miracle of Turkish economy…, yes, but you uderstand that it is so fragile. Don’t you?

  • Tyroneez

    Dear emre
    Your theory that Greece might be creating incidents / as a distraction from it’s economic troubles …
    Is completely ridiculous , that would only be the case if Greek war planes were flying over turkish territory …
    If you hear of Greek fighter jets flying over the Dardanelles or the marmara sea .. Then please let me know / and i will protest with you ..outside the Greek embassy ..
    Why would Greece be complaining to the world , if it’s flying over it’s own islands ?????
    You are just trying to confuse the issue , and muddy the waters …
    But you are fooling nobody , except yourself ..
    Everyone can see that the Turkish establishment sees the threat of military force , as a means to apply diplomatic pressure i’n it’s disputes with it’s neighbours …
    It’s called gunboat diplomacy …but it’s outmoded , outdated and anachronistic ( a Greek word ) ..lol
    And all it proves is that turkey is still behind the times as always …
    In fact it just has the opposite effect , look at isreal and the Palestinians or the USA i’n Vietnam ..
    Greece sad no to Hitler and Mussolini even though they new they would lose …
    Turkey is the one trying to distract it’s population from it’s internal troubles ( the Kurdish rebellion ) amongst other issues …
    By constantly fabricating external threats …
    But when the economy finally succumbs to the world wide economic disaster …
    The turkish people will finally realise the government wasted billions on super weapons they do not need for their defense ..
    There will be tears all round …
    Especialy from those neo ,Talat , Enver or Menderes , zorlu ( erdogan , davutoglou ) jokers …
    Sound familiar ??

    • Emre

      Tyroneez, you are twisting my words.
      I am saying that a potential tension in the region might favor Greece. I am not suggesting if Greece is raising tensions etc.
      Turkey, want or don’t want, will be a big power in the region not because it is militarily strong but at last we managed to pull out a good economical result. As I have mentioned in several other posts. You only can affect a region economically and then you need a well trained, technologically advanced army to defend your economical interest. This is what regional/international powers do all around the world (like it or not)! Turkey hopefully is going well in economical matters, and I believe that modernization of our army will also benefit from this economical improvement. And no, Turkey is not in behind times but yes ahead of times looking at the future as a regional power.
      I think as for economical disaster that Greece is taking all behind, we might just escape from it. It is not Turkey saying that its economy is booming, its the financial markets. We will be in top 12 in the world by 2030. 2nd biggest economy in Europe after Germany. Hail Turkey and its new strategical policy (even if you envy or dislike it)!

  • Toxotis

    There are simpler ways if one choses to deal with the issue. Nowadays use lser systems to blind teh pilots who overfly the area at these low level flights – they either get blinded and crash or get blinded and lose vision, or return to their base..Lasers can also be used to render the photography useless …’simple’ physics if one wishes to imlement such a system….

  • RebelJim

    Greeks are dreaming again?

  • Niyazi

    I think It isnt intentional. Maybe the plane cant turn to north, and also it must be higher than 1000 feet.

  • Mehmet

    I think It isnt intentional. Maybe the plane cant turn to north, and also it must be higher than 1000 feet.

    • Angelo Moshos

      Mehmet remember 1996 ! It can hapen again the way your country goes !

  • Freshoranjejuice

    I believe Greece should reciprocate by sending it’s own reconaissence aircraft over Turkish installations for a bit of espionage.

  • Ακρίτας

    I just need to mention that the correct name of the island is Kastellorizo (and not “Kastelorizo” with one “l”).

    More info here:
    http://www.kastellorizo.net/name.html

    Greetings from Kastellorizo!