Via AlMasdarNews.com,

On Thursday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar inaugurated the “Year of Flight Training 2020-2021” for the Air Force, by conducting a tour on board an F-16 over the Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece.

Akar flew an F-16 fighter jet over the Aegean Sea, passing over the Dardanelles Strait where he saluted the Martyrs’ Monument that commemorates Ottoman Turkey’s World War I victory against the Allied forces at Gallipoli.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar sits inside an F-16 jet.

“We will continue the struggle in the spirit of Canakkale, and we will work hard in a manner that befits all our martyrs, especially those who are here,” Akar said during his flight over the Aegean, addressing his companions in the other fighters.

The Turkish minister expressed his wishes that the new training year would be a successful year, according to what was published by “Anatolia” agency.

Earlier, Akar said that the armed forces are determined and able to protect the country, the people, their moral values ​​and their interests, whatever the cost.

He added in reference to soaring tensions with Greece, Cyprus and the EU:

“We will not yield to threats and blackmail in the eastern Mediterranean, and we will defend our rights in accordance with international laws and bilateral agreements.”

Turkey’s Defense Ministry/AP

This comes as the eastern Mediterranean gas exploration row gets hotter and increasingly militarized, given Greece and Cyprus say Turkey is violating their sovereign waters and Exclusive Economic Zones.

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Via Zerohedge