Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday flew over the island of Agathonisi, located at the northernmost point of the Dodecanese, a day after President Katerina Sakellaropoulou’s visit to the island.
The illegal overflights by a pair of Turkish F-16 fighter jets is seen in Athens as a provocation by Ankara.
The jets entered the Athens Flights Information Region (FIR) without having submitted a flight plan at 10.41 and 10.44 a.m., flying over the two islands at an altitude of 24,000 feet, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) said.
The jets were intercepted by Greek aircraft in line with international rules of engagement, defense sources said.
During Monday’s visit to Agathonisi, Sakellaropoulou said that Athens will defend its sovereignty.
“Greece is historically seeking to have good neighborly relations and cooperation with Turkey and invests in the peaceful co-existence and the cooperation between the peoples. It is not however disposed to relinquish its sovereign rights or to accept questioning of its national territory,” she said.
“Our country respects the international law and the international treaties and seeks a constructive relation with its neighbors. In parallel, it is determined to defend in any possible way and whenever needed, it national integrity and its sovereign rights,” she added.
“I want from this remote area of Greece to send a message of national confidence and of national pride as the residents of Agathonisi, who are the stable custodians of the borders, not only of the Greece but of Europe, did” she underlined.