The Hellenic Coast Guard said one of its vessels was harassed by a Turkish Coast Guard boat in Greek territorial waters south of the island of Samos on Tuesday during a Search And Rescue operation for migrants.
According to Greek authorities, the Turkish vessel entered Greek waters and performed dangerous maneuvers when it was approached by the Greek Coast Guard boat.
The Turkish vessel attempted to damage the Greek boat, and the crew even demonstrated that they were armed, showing their weapons to the Greeks.
The incident was recorded on video by an Italian boat of the Frontex EU border agency, that forwarded the footage to the Greek colleagues.
Video: Turkish CG boat harasses Greek CG boat
A dinghy carrying some 14 Afghan and Iranian migrants from Turkey to Greece capsized 3.8 nautical miles south of Samos on Monday.
Three men and a woman have been rescued, who told the Greek Coast Guard that they were on board the dinghy with another ten people.
Upon locating a body in Greek territorial waters, a foreign-flagged cargo ship involved in the rescue mission called on the Turkish Coast Guard boat to come and collect it, something that the latter rushed to do.
Shipping and Islands Policy Minister Giannis Plakiotakis is convinced that the Turkish Coast Guard wanted to cause an incident between the two countries.
“Within 24 hours, on the one hand, Turkey continues to allow the rings of unscrupulous traffickers to send our fellow human beings to their death, with Greece saving as many as it can, and on the other hand, a Turkish coast guard vessel is challenging, entering the Greek Territorial Waters, wishing perhaps to cause an incident,” the minister said in a statement.
The search for the missing migrants off Samos continued until late on Tuesday afternoon, however, with no positive results, so far.
Also SAR operation continuous in the sea area of Cape Kafireas, between the islands of Andros and Evia, where dozens of migrants are believed to have been missing after a sailing boat capsized and sank, early Tuesday morning.