Greece’s PM says his helicopter was harassed by Turkish fighter jets

Greece’s prime minister has said Turkish fighter jets harassed the helicopter he was travelling on during a visit to a remote Greek island to celebrate independence day.

Alexis Tsipras said he was “welcomed” by Turkish fighter jets violating Greek airspace during his arrival on Monday on the small eastern Aegean island of Agathonissi.

The move forced the helicopter pilot to carry out low manoeuvres until Greek fighter jets arrived to deflect the Turkish aircraft, Mr Tsipras said.

Greece and Turkey have long had tense relations and are divided over several issues, including territorial disputes in the Aegean.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The Aegean Sea pictured during an outbreak of forest fires (NERC Satellite Receiving Station/PA)</figcaption>
The Aegean Sea pictured during an outbreak of forest fires (NERC Satellite Receiving Station/PA)

Athens often complains that Turkish fighter jets violate its airspace.

Mr Tsipras stressed Greece is committed to dialogue and cooperation with Turkey.

However, he said if necessary “we will do what our ancestors taught us, to defend our country”.

- Press Association

KEYWORDS:

GreeceTurkey

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