posted on May, 25 2006 @ 05:54 AM
And the aftermath:
- The two countries' Ministers of Exterior talked on the phone and jointly stated that such an incident "shouldn't influence both nations' goals
of improvement of their relations" (I'm translating this from transcripts of Greek mainstream media sites right now). Furthermore, they agreed that
"the incident should be transparently investigated and not allowed to influence bilateral relations".
- Turkish media, as was piped into our own news, for eg CNN Turk, downplayed the incident and the Turkish Prime Minister did not even mention the
incident whatsoever in his address to Parliament. Apparently there is a huge power struggle going on between secularists and Islamists and this
incident doesn't help.
- Yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis, while at a meeting with his French counterpart, stated, "Turkey must reconsider its stance, after this
incident, and adhere to its commitments to the EU. Her European prospects depend on her implementing the European commitments she has undertaken and
maintaining the stance of a good neighbour. Yesterday (Tuesday's) incident ought to make the neighbouring country seriously reflect upon the stance
she maintains and to abandon, once and for all, behaviour and actions that do not enhance the relations of a good neighbour which, of course, are
taken into account and assessed for her European path. Greece defends her national interests and titles. At all levels, the entire incident displayed
the responsibility and gravity with which our authorities handle such sensitive matters of foreign and defence policy. It is imperative in such
matters that our own public maintains its cool and responsibilities."
- The President of Greece, Papoulias, while with the Queen of Denmark, stated, "Yesterday's (Tuesday's) humanely tragic and politically grave
incident in the Aegean clearly demonstrates the need for Turkey to respect both the letter and the essence of International Law and international
conventions and for her to realize that unacceptable behaviour like yesterday's undeclared flights put the stability of a sensitive region in danger.
The lastest expansion of the EU, an ethical and historical necessity, and the prospects of further expansion create insecurity for European citizens
in a Europe that gains all the more size without the corresponding depth. We believe that the EU must keep its promises made to prospective nations of
incorporation without compromising its principles and without concessions of such. Of couse, candidate nations must fulfill the criteria that the EU
has set for them. Especially for Turkey, Greece supports its incorporation into the EU, without this meaning that we see this as a historical
necessity. We deem the incorporation of Turkey into the EU coming about as a result of a punctual and desired path of adjustment by her towards
European principles and values. Greece works toward good neighbourly relations, for the obvious good of both our peoples. Good neighbourly relations,
however, are not a rhetorical schema or statements of intent; they are actions."
Finally, according to the Greek daily "Ta Nea", the Greek Air Force had learned, earlier in the day, that Turkish fighters were going to fly a spy
mission to photograph the positions of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft rocket launchers in Eastern Crete. The Turkish RF-4 Phantom was escorted by the two
F-16s for air support but because the Greek Air Force knew about this in advance, that is why they were able to intercept the Turkish fighters near
Karpathos, 21 nm away from Eastern Crete. The Turkish Air Force, for its part, admits to an F-4 being in the formation but denies that it was a
photographical Phantom, an RF-4 spy plane. Morever, it claims that the fighters were on a training mission and denies that they were flying within
Athens FIR, entirely ommitting that they were at 27,000ft, an altitude for civilian aircraft. When Turkey submitted all this to NATO, Greece
strenuously objected and submitted all documented evidence to ΝΑΤΟ's flight display system (again, sorry for translating into layman's terms).