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The news of the Turkish Air Force shooting down a Russian fighter jet came as a surprise to most of the West. This is however unfounded since Erdogan’s aggressive megalomania has been out in the open for a long time, despite the willful blindness of NATO and the US.
For decades, Turkey has been bluntly disregarding international law in the Aegean Sea. On a daily basis, its fighter jets refuse to abide by the safety protocols of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and constantly violate Greek sovereignty.
There are three types of critical violations Turkey engages in:
Greek FIR is internationally recognized for monitoring and controlling all air traffic over the Aegean. Turkish jets refuse to acknowledge the Greek authorities by not submitting flight plans. This poses major risks to air traffic and instigates the reaction of the Greek Air Force.
For several decades, the violations of the Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets have been responsible for incalculable cost both financially and, most importantly, in human lives. The majority of the airtime of the Hellenic Air Force is dedicated to preparing for and fighting Turkish transgressions inside the Greek airspace on a daily basis.
Turkish fighter jets repeatedly fly over Greek territory without any permission by or prior notification to the Greek authorities. This kind of aggression is a hostile act and a clear casus belli, especially since in many of those instances the jets are armed.
For the past few years, Turkey has been exploiting the worst crisis in Greece’s modern history by increasing its aggression over the Aegean Sea. According to the latest data of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, since 2011, more than 7000 aircrafts have been increasingly violating Greek sovereignty in the Aegean. Specifically: 3545 Infringements of Air Traffic Regulations, 6421 Violations of National Air Space and 64 Overflights of National Territory.
These numbers include 878 armed formations, which brings the significance of threat to a whole another level. As it is apparent by the bellow graphs, Erdogan has been steadily increasing his aggression in the Aegean for the past four years.
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