Tsipras: Turk warplanes 'harassed' helicopter carrying him to isle; Turkish media report disputes allegation

Monday, 25 March 2019 22:34
A- A A+

The Greek prime minister himself on Monday disclosed that Turkish warplanes attempted to harass a helicopter carrying him to a small eastern Aegean border island hours earlier for events to commemorate Greek Independence Day.

"They should know that such foolish actions make no sense; they're wasting kerozene... because the Greek prime minister will reach every inch of Greek territory, even if he has to swim there," Alexis Tsipras later said.

Nevertheless, an "unofficial" response by the Turkish side came later, via the Anadolu news agency, which quoted "defense sources" as saying that no Turkish aircraft were involved in any harassment.

At the same time, however, Anadolu quoted the same sources as saying that "aircraft were executing their usual duties", leaving open the interpretation of the "harassment" allegation. 

Tsipras brushed off the incident by saying that the Turkish pilots may have wanted to "participate" in Greek Independence Day events, as Monday marked the 198th anniversary of the start of the 1821 revolution against dour Ottoman rule.

He said Greek fighter planes scrambled and reached the area over the isle of Agathonisi within moments of the incident.

Προτεινόμενα για εσάς