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Greek Minister Slams Turkish Violation of Airspace in New Year Speech

© AP Photo / Anatolia, Kenan GurbuzTurkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet
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Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has devoted part of his New Year’s Eve address to the military to condemnation of Turkish provocations against Greece.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has devoted part of his New Year’s Eve address to the military to condemnation of Turkish provocations against Greece.

"Every day in the Aegean Sea, in Greek airspace, provocations are taking place. In Greek territorial waters, on ships, officers, sergeants, and seamen are ensuring our national unity and sovereignty. In the sky, we respond with engagement to the breaches made by Turkish planes," Kammenos told Greek army service personnel.

Next year, all military units will commemorate victims of the Pontic genocide, during which Turkey ethnically cleansed Christian Ottoman Greeks from its territory, Kammenos said, adding that the commemorations will take place in cooperation with the Armenian Defense Ministry. Turkey's Armenian genocide occurred in the same time period as the Pontic genocide during World War One.

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"Nations which forget die, and the Greek nation will not forget and will not disappear," the minister said. Kammenos visited Armenia min-December, meeting his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan. At the close of the meeting, Kammenos stated plans to organize joint events commemorating the genocides, according to a Greek Defense Ministry statement published on its website.

Turkey's air force is known to violate Greek airspace almost on a daily basis. Turkish incursions reached a peak in 2014, when the number of violations reached 2,224, according to University of Thessaly figures based on Greek military data. The year before, 636 violations took place.

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