A classic shot of a Turkish Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon landing in June 2001 (Image © Marcel Burger)

Greek-Turkish air combat over the Aegean Sea

The air situation in the skies in and near Turkey continues to boil. While the dust of the shoot down of a Russian Su-24 flying near or into Turkish airspace from Syria has not even settled yet, fighter jets of the Greek and Turkish Air Forces continue to clash with each other over the Aegean Sea.

While no weapons have been fired, the dogfights between jocks of both NATO countries were not really a friendly match. On Tuesday 29 December six Turkish fighter jets escorting two Airbus CN235 aircraft violated Greek air space nine times, according to the Greek Ministry of Defence. Ankara denies the aircraft did anything wrong.

Hellenic Air Force cat and mouse

The Hellenic Air Force engaged – likely with its F-16 aircraft – leading to a cat and mouse game often practiced by many of the world’s air forces and known from movies like the 1980s classic Top Gun. No weapons were fired, but with aggression from both sides things can easily spin out of control.

A Hellenic Air Force F-16C in 2007 (Image © Marcel Burger)
A Hellenic Air Force F-16C in 2007 (Image © Marcel Burger)

Turkish F-16D shot down

Military jets from Greece and Turkey have often met each other in and around a 4 mile zone which resulting from a long standing twist of the boundaries of the nation’s borders, the natural resources in the area and airspace around the many islands – Greek and Turkish – in the Aegean Sea. Only once, in 1996, a Turkish F-16D was reportedly shot down by a Hellenic Air Force jet – killing one of two Turkish crew members while the second was rescued by Greek military forces.

This December the hostilities flared up again after political accusations from Greece that Turkey violated Greek airspace. The countries were in the brink of war since the 1930s, even though both are supposed to be friends within the NATO military alliance.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A classic shot of a Turkish Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon landing in June 2001 (Image © Marcel Burger)