World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey has invited Greece to the Anatolian Eagle aerial war games set for next year in what is a first in its history, a move that could potentially eradicate the persisting mistrust and confrontation the two countries face in a number of areas, a news report said on Tuesday.
The report, which appeared in the Cumhuriyet daily, also said Greek authorities were considering accepting the Turkish invitation. The joint military drill would challenge the traditional orthodoxies of the region as the two countries face disagreements in the Aegean over territorial waters and in Cyprus, where the two countries back their communities on the long-divided island.
The military exercises will be conducted on June 13-24 in the central Anatolian province of Konya. The Turkish Air Forces (THK) will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year and is thus planning to hold a series of events to mark the special anniversary. The exercise will include several other countries as well.
China, as a non-NATO member, was invited in August of this year to participate in the Anatolian Eagle joint aerial military maneuvers. Although Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, Turkey and Greece have been at odds due to the Cyprus problem and a dispute over maritime borders in the Aegean.
Turkey also excluded Greece from a list of countries it considers to be a threat to its national security in a recently approved security document, but included Israel in its place.
Israel and Greece, both Turkey's rivals, conducted several joint air drills in the past year following a debacle in diplomatic and military relations between Turkey and the Jewish state, particularly following the May 31 flotilla raid in which Israeli commandoes stormed an aid boat and killed nine civilians.
Last year the Turkish military cancelled the Anatolian Eagle's international segment in a move widely seen as a way to exclude Israel from the exercise.
Turkey invites Greece to aerial war games for first time: Report
Turkey has invited Greece to the Anatolian Eagle aerial war games set for next year in what is a first in its history, a report said.