Ankara: The Turkish air force has been put on a combat-ready alert, standing prepared to respond immediately if Greece violates the country’s airspace, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday.
“We will definitely react to any actions against us. Our air force is showing the necessary response to their violations. Our fleet is on standby. It is doing everything necessary to protect our maritime jurisdictions,” Akar told reporters.
The defence minister added that Athens is continuing provocative actions and rhetoric in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas against what he described as Ankara’s stance in favor of good-neighborly relations and international dialogue.
Last week, Turkey refused to take part in NATO’s Tiger Meet exercises in Greece due to disagreements with Greece, saying that the latter had allegedly manipulated the drills to suit its political interests. In 2020, Turkey carried out seismic studies in an area of the Eastern Mediterranean which Greece considers its exclusive economic zone.
The Greek armed forces were placed on high alert after the incident. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the two countries were on the brink of armed conflict three times in the summer of 2020, prompting a general mobilization of the Greek armed forces.