Turkish jets chase Israeli aircraft

May 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, May 17 (UPI) -- Turkey said an Israeli aircraft was chased away by Turkish fighter jets after it violated Turkish Cypriot airspace this week.

The announcement by the Turkish military said the incident took place over Cyprus on Monday, Today's Zaman reported Thursday.

It is not clear why the Israeli plane was flying over the Turkish Cypriot coast but there was speculation it may have been spying on Turkey's oil and gas exploration efforts.

Turkey and Israel are at odds over a 2010 Israeli-Greek-Cypriot deal demarcating exclusive economic zones for gas and oil exploration.

The Greek Cypriot government began drilling for hydrocarbon reserves in September triggering an angry response from Turkey, which said the riches of the island belong to Turkish Cypriots as well.

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