American Hellenic Institute


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AHI condemns Egregious Violation of Greek air space by Turkey
July 16, 2015—No. 39 (202) 785-8430

AHI condemns Egregious Violation of Greek air space by Turkey

Calls on the U.S., NATO, and EU to Issue Strong Condemnation

WASHINGTON, DC–The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) condemns the egregious violation of Greek airspace by six Turkish fighter jets on July 15, 2015. According to Kathimerini, the formation carried out a total of 20 transgressions which led to one dogfight as two of the aircraft were armed. Greek aircraft chased off the Turkish jets.

“As advocates for the rule of law, we condemn this egregious act perpetrated by one NATO-member country upon another,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “And although these violations are unfortunately nothing new, the degree of escalation of this specific incident was extraordinary, especially given the challenges Greece is facing with regard to its debt crisis.  It is completely unacceptable for one NATO ally to take advantage another NATO ally’s domestic situation in order to act with hostility which creates instability between two neighbors.”

He added, “Greece’s geostrategic importance to the United States, NATO, and the European Union is unquestioned and for Greece to be subjected to these unnecessary and provocative acts, and their consequences, is unacceptable, and we call on the United States, NATO, and European Union to condemn Turkey’s actions.”

According to Larigakis, the Greek military spends approximately 10,000 Euros per hour to operate one F-16 aircraft, which is typically used to chase Turkish jets out of Greece’s airspace. 

“These numbers could amount to approximately one billion euros per year in excess costs at a time when the Greek military can ill afford it,” Larigakis said, citing that one of the demands by Greece’s Eurozone partners was that it cut 200 million euro from its defense budget in 2016.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American think-tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.



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