Greek-Turkish Relations
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Turkey dreams of the partition of the Aegean by December 19, a few days before the Mitsotakis-Erdogan meeting

Fourteen days are left until the convening of the High Cooperation Council between Greece and Turkey in Athens, where Mitsotakis and Erdogan will once again meet face to face and Ankara continues to move and challenge the axis of its revisionist doctrine.

Turkey, without any jurisdiction, has proceeded to issue the illegal NOTAM A8844/23, by which it is blocking five areas from north to south from tomorrow, November 24 to December 19, for a "search and rescue and environmental protection" exercise.

It is worth recalling that Turkey is keen to take control of search and rescue operations in the Eastern Aegean from Greece, specifically east of the 25th meridian.

The mere issuance of the NOTAM is a direct challenge to the Athens FIR and Greek exclusive jurisdiction in this area.

Athens reacted by issuing NOTAM A4245/23 in which it states that only it has jurisdiction in the Athens FIR and that only the Search and Rescue Operations Centre at Piraeus is competent to coordinate operations and exercises of this kind in the Athens FIR.


For the record, on December 7, 1944, the Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed in Chicago, which provided for the establishment of an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO, through periodic Air Navigation Agreements, established the boundaries of the areas of responsibility of each of its member states for the control of airspace (Flight Information Region-FIR). The Athens FIR was delineated in the context of the European regional air navigation conferences of 1950, 1952 and 1958.

The Athens FIR covers the Greek national airspace and, in addition, scattered parts of international airspace, since it does not touch upon sovereignty issues, but jurisdiction.

Turkey was present from the outset at the above-mentioned conferences and accepted the definition of the airspace for which Greece was designated as responsible.

In accordance with ICAO rules and international practice, Greece requires, for reasons of civil aviation safety, that all aircraft, civil and military, submit flight plans before entering the Athens FIR.

Nevertheless, in August 1974, Turkey arbitrarily issued NOTAM 714 ("notice to air navigators") by which it tried to extend its area of jurisdiction to the middle of the Aegean Sea within the Athens FIR. Greece then declared the Aegean Sea a danger area (NOTAM 1157). ICAO appealed to both sides without success. Finally, in 1980, Ankara, again unilaterally, revoked NOTAM 714 when it found that the measure was damaging to its interests and in particular its tourism.

However, since then Turkey, arguing that the Chicago Convention does not apply to state aircraft, has consistently refused to submit flight plans for the entry of its military aircraft into the Athens FIR, thereby committing numerous violations of air traffic rules and creating risks to civil aviation safety.

In this context, the Hellenic Air Force is forced to carry out procedures to identify aircraft traces unknown to the competent air traffic authorities, which have entered the Athens FIR without having submitted a flight plan.

At the same time, the Turkish Ministry of Defence released footage from the exercise "Eastern Mediterranean 2023" in the context of which in recent days we have seen the reappearance of Turkish aircraft in the FIR of Athens without the submission of a flight plan, with all that this entails for the safety of passenger flights. The footage shows Cobra and Sinuk attack helicopters working with the Turkish mini aircraft carrier Anadolu.

In the same vein, the spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Defence, Zeki Akturk, referred again to the "Blue Homeland", stating that "We are also celebrating once again the 250th anniversary of our Naval Academy, which trains the indomitable guardians of our Blue Homeland and the Barbarossa of the future, and the 133rd anniversary of the Naval Petty Officer Schools.

All units and agencies of the Ministry of National Defense continue to grow stronger day by day in terms of quality and quantity for the defense and security of our country and continue to fulfill all their duties with great determination and success.

In this context, our glorious army is recording great success in the fight against terrorism, protecting our rights and interests in our blue and celestial homeland as well as border security and continues to contribute to regional and global peace and stability."


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