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Greece presents demarche to Turkish envoy protesting harassment of PM’s helicopter

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Athens on Tuesday handed a demarche to Turkish Ambassador to Greece Burak Özügergin to protest an incident on Monday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s helicopter, according to Greek media reports.

Tsipras had said the previous day that Turkish jets buzzed his helicopter as he was flying to a remote Aegean island to mark the anniversary of the 1821 uprising against Ottoman rule.

Tsipras said he was “welcomed” by Turkish fighter jets violating Greek airspace during his arrival on the small eastern Aegean island of Agathonisi.

The aerial move forced the helicopter pilot to carry out low maneuvers until Greek fighter jets arrived to deflect the Turkish aircraft, the prime minister said.

Officials in Ankara stated that there had been no attempt to intercept Tsipras’s flight.

Relations between the two countries have been strained for decades over territorial disputes in the Aegean.

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