Turkey is no stranger to aerial conflict of late.
After months of back and forth banter between Ankara and Moscow regarding supposed Russian incursions into Turkish airspace, Erdogan finally “went there” on November 24 when Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24 near the border with Syria. One of the two pilots was killed.
Although Turkey claimed the (17 second) violation of its airspace was unacceptable and just cause for military engagement, it was just three years prior that Erdogan had decried the downing of a Turkish F-4 phantom in Syria’s airspace."A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack," he declared.
But that wasn’t the only hypocrisy apparent in Turkey’s brazen move. According to the University of Thessaly (whose statistics are based on the Greek military’s tally), there were 2,244 violations of Greece’s airspace by Turkish jets in 2014 alone, representing an increase of some 250% from 2013. Here’s a look at the graphic:
Well don’t look now, but Turkish and Greek fighters just got into a dogfight over the Aegean.
Greek and Turkish jets engaged in a brief dogfight over the Aegean Sea on Tuesday after Turkish aircraft violated Greek national air space several times.
A formation of six Turkish jets, flanked by two CN-235 aircraft that were not in formation, violated Greek air space nine times, according to Greek defense officials.
In all cases the Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft. Two of the eight Turkish aircraft were armed.
The violations were the first since early December following a minor diplomatic spat between the two Aegean neighbors after a message on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Twitter account accused Turkish jets of repeated transgressions in the Aegean.
Since Erdogan is a fair man, and because we're sure Turkey's attack on the Russian warplane was completely legitimate, we suppose the Turkish President would have understood if Greece had shot down one of Turkey's fighters.