Greek PM hits out at Turkey over air space ‘violations’

Davutoglu criticises Tsipras after Greek PM tells Ankara that “fortunately our pilots are not as mercurial as yours”.

Greece''s PM Tsipras, Turkish PM Davutoglu and German Chancellor Merkel talk to French President Hollande during an EU-Turkey summit in Brussels
Tsipras and Davutoglu talk to German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande at the Brussels summit [Eric Vidal/Reuters]

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has criticised remarks by his Greek counterpart, after Alexis Tsipras lashed out at Turkey over “violations” of Greece’s air space, accusing it of creating an “outrageous” and “unbelievable” situation over the Aegean Sea, a gateway to Europe for thousands of refugees fleeing conflict.

Tsipras’ comments came in a series of tweets late on Sunday, posted on the Greek and English versions of his account as president of the Syriza party.

The English tweets were deleted later on, even though the remarks still showed up on his Greek account at the time of publication of this article.

In the angry tweets directed towards Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Tsipras cited the  recent downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey’s air forces and praised the stance of Greek pilots for not being “as mercurial” as the Turkish ones.

The tweets came after a Brussels summit, also attended by Davutoglu, during which  the EU agreed to offer Turkey  $3.2bn and political concessions in return for handling the refugees from war-torn countries on its territory.

Davutoglu hit back, urging his Greek counterpart to “focus on our positive agenda”.

On November 26, Greek media reported that six Turkish fighter jets violated Greece’s national air space in the northeastern Aegean Sea, quoting Greek defence officials.

Mock dogfights between aircraft from the two neighbouring counties have been going on for years.

The tweets were sent from Tsipras’ account as president of the Syriza party, instead of the official account used by Greek prime ministers .

Source: Al Jazeera