Turkish Air Force F-16 jets on Friday intercepted six Greek F-16s over Mediterranean Sea.
The Greek jets took off from Crete Island. As they headed closer towards Southern Cyprus, Turkish F-16s issued a Navtex (navigational telex) alert asking them to steer clear of the region, the Turkey’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The Turkey-Greece conflict can be traced back four decades ago. In July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus in order to crush a military coup backed by Greece. Ever since then, it continues to lay claim to the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a de facto state situated in the north-eastern portion of the island. Turkey demands authority over and a share of revenue generating from the gas reserves for the Turkish Cypriots.
On the other hand, Greece supports Republic of Cyprus and insists on Turkish Cypriots getting their share of the revenue only after the reunification of the island.
Turkey resumed energy exploration in the disputed Eastern Mediterranean Sea earlier this month after Greece and Egypt signed the controversial EastMed Oil Pipeline Project deal.