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Greece officially complains to Turkey, briefs EU, NATO, UN; situation remains tense

Greece has officially complained to Turkey about the ramming of a patrol boat of the Greek Coast Guard by a vessel of the Turkish Coast Guard short before Monday midnight and briefed about the incident also international fora incl the NATO where both neighboring countries are members. However, the situation remains tense, as Ankara is keeping three Coast Guard boats in the Imia area still Tuesday afternoon.

The Greek Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Athens and also filed an official complain to the Turkish Foreign ministry in Ankara. Furthermore, the Greek Foreign Ministry has briefed about the incident the USA, Germany, the European Union, the NATO as well as the 5 permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, state broadcaster ERT said on Tuesday afternoon.

In a press release, the Foreign Ministry said that “dangerous incidents like that the put human lives at risk are the result of the escalating and provocative behavior that Turkey demonstrates in recent days.”

Athens urges Ankara to “stop violations of international law and acts that do not add to development of relations between the two countries. Such acts undermine the regional security and stability that Greece defends,” the statement concludes.

There were reportedly several people on board of patrol boat Gavdos when it was rammed by the Turkish vessel close to the islet of Imia. The patrol boat was anchored. It suffered “significant damage.”

Military Affairs website posted one picture showing the damage at Gavdos.

The patrol boat was first sailed to the island of Leros for inspection and first evaluation of the damage, later it sailed to the Naval Base of Salamina in Attica for repair.

According to a statement of the Greek Coast Guard, the Turkish vessel performed “dangerous maneuvers in violation of the international law of the Sea to avoid collision situations. It rammed the left side of the stern of the patrol boat.”

Nobody was injured, the statement said adding that the boat was purchased with the funding of the European Union in order to survey the Greek and the European sea borders.

The boat was on duty since one year.

Despite, the Greek complaints, the situation remains tense.

Three Turkish Coast Guard boats (red) remain in the sea area around the islets of Imia, in Greek territorial waters still at 5 p.m. Tuesday. They keep moving on the west side of the islets in a pure provocative act.

A Turkish fisherman (pink) boat joined them and has been anchored for almost two hours.

So far, Greece has not deployed any Coast Guard boats or warships in the area.

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One comment

  1. If Greece can get Trump’s attention on this, there may be a solution, because I get the impression that Trump doesn’t like Erdogan much? The one good thing is that since Greece has a fairly good leader now with Tsipras and that Trump and Tsipras hit it off very well in Washington and I think the USA will support Greece and rebuke Turkey if they do something more aggressive? But, the only fear I have is how quick would the US act to save Greece? When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, it still took months for the US to show up and rescue Kuwait and repel the Iraqi forces. But, let’s see what happens since Greece and Turkey are both NATO, it’s probably just words.