Tsipras visiting Meis to send a signal to Ankara

Greek Prime Minister Aleksis Tsipras visits the island of Kastellorizo (Meis), located in the East Mediterranean, on April 17 to send message of national sovereignty and determination in the face of Turkey's provocation in the region, Greek media said.

The island of Kastellorizo (Meis) was at the center of a conflict on April 10 when Greece opened warning fire on a Turkish helicopter flying at a low altitude. A Turkish helicopter flew around islet of Ro (Karaada), west of Kastellorizo (Meis), and left the area after Greek troops reportedly responded by firing tracer rounds as a warning.

The tension between Turkey and Greece is escalating, not only in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also in the Aegean Sea. 

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım claimed that Turkish coast guards had removed a Greek flag that was recently placed on a rock islet, near Fournoi, off Didim - a Turkish resort town in Turkey's Aegean.

Greek Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos denied there was any violation of Greek territory. 

On April 12, a Greek Mirage 2000 fighters on a mission to intercept Turkish aircrafts fell into the Aegean sea and its pilot was killed.

A two decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets is continuing.  While Turkey holds the islands whose sovereignty are disputed by Turkey are called grey zones, Greece has never accepted this. Disputes over the islets brought the two countries on the brink of an armed conflict in 1996 and have led to renewed tensions since 2017. 

Serious incidents involving Greek and Turkish ships have taken place; Most recently, a Turkish Coast Guard ship rammed into a Greek patrol boat close to Kardak (imea) islets on Feb.12.