Turkey violated Greek airspace more than 2,000 times last year

Nov 27, 2015

Information comes after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian aircraft for allegedly violating its airspace

The downing of a Russian jet by Turkish warplanes earlier this week marked one of the most high-profile incidents between Russia and a Nato member for decades.

Ankara accuses Moscow of violating Turkish airspace, but the Russian defence ministry insists its plane was flying over Syrian territory when it was shot down.

Airspace violations have become increasingly common in recent years with the majority of encounters proving peaceful and routine, something that may change in light of events on Tuesday.

As the diplomatic fallout continues, it has emerged that the Turkish military has itself been guilty of crossing into foreign territory thousands of times this year.

Turkey and Greece dispute the sovereignty of islands in the Aegean, as well as the delimitation of territorial waters and national airspace.

The latter has resulted in frequent confrontations between the air forces of both countries, that have sometimes turned aggressive.

Turkey has increased its violations of Greek-claimed airspace in the Aegean in recent years, heightening tensions between Ankara and Athens.

In 2014, the Greek military reports that 2,244 intrusions were made and by October of this year, military authorities claimed 1,443 airspace violations by Turkish planes.

Infographic by www.statista.com for TheWeek.co.uk.

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