Greek, Turkish military planes collide
Updated: 2006-05-23 20:29
A Greek fighter jet and a Turkish warplane collided
Tuesday near the island of Karpathos in the Aegean Sea, the Greek government
said. A rescue operation was launched for the three missing pilots, two Turks
and one Greek.
A Greek F-16 fighter jet. A Greek and a
Turkish military plane collided over the eastern Aegean Sea, south of the
Greek island of Carpathos.[AFP]
Greek government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said it appeared the incident
occurred as the Greek plane was intercepting the Turkish jet. Greek and Turkish
fighter planes frequently intercept each other over the sea, mostly in areas of
Greece says its national airspace extends to 10 miles, but Turkey recognizes
only six miles ¡ª the same distance as territorial waters.
The Greek Defense Ministry said a Greek F-16 collided with a Turkish R-F4
jet, about 12 miles south of Karpathos in the eastern Aegean Sea. The Greek jet
was based at Souda Air Force base on the island of Crete.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry and military did not immediately confirm the
Long-standing disputes over airspace and territorial rights in the Aegean
have nearly led to three wars between the NATO allies since 1974.
Relations between Greece and Turkey have been steadily deteriorating in
recent months, despite Athens' promotion of Ankara's candidacy for European
Union membership and Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramanalis' personal
friendship with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.