Thursday, March 3, 2016

German defense minister denied entry to Turkey in military helicopter

Turkey did not allow German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to enter Turkey from the Greek island of Lesbos in a military helicopter as it would infringe a disarmament agreement between the two countries.

According to a report in the Hürriyet daily on Thursday that cited the Greek media, von der Leyen was planning to visit the island of Lesbos on March 6 and enter Turkey via a military helicopter on the German frigate Bonn, which is currently stationed in the Aegean Sea as part of a NATO initiative.

However, Turkey reportedly blocked this attempt as it would infringe a disarmament agreement between Turkey and Greece pertaining to territories in the Aegean.

Greece recently sent a diplomatic note to Turkey over its refusal to allow a military plane carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Feb. 7 to fly through Turkish airspace.

Referring to the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947, Turkish authorities said military planes could not enter Turkish airspace if they departed from Rhodes. The military plane carrying Tsipras was not allowed to travel through Turkish airspace to Iran after departing from the Greek island of Rhodes.

The plane carrying Tsipras and a Greek diplomatic delegation changed its route as a result and flew to Iran via Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The Paris Peace Treaties were signed between the Allied powers and Italy in 1947. According to the agreement, Italy ceded sovereignty over the Dodecanese Islands, which include Rhodes, to Greece. The agreement also stipulated the demilitarization of the islands.


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