Turkey denounces Greek “harassing shots” at merchant ship

Turkish public television, TRT, has reported that two Greek Coast Guard vessels have fired “harassing shots” at a Turkish merchant vessel in international waters in the Aegean Sea.

The merchant vessel, the ‘Anatolian’, is Comoros-flagged and was reportedly attacked about 11 nautical miles off the Turkish island of Bozcaada, TRT reports citing the Turkish Coast Guard. The Greeks “breached international laws”, according to these sources.

The Greek vessels left the scene when Turkish Coast Guard troops arrived and no casualties are to be regretted, reports TRT, which has broadcast footage purportedly showing Greek gunfire.

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The Turkish Coast Guard has escorted the vessel and the Turkish prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into what happened, Turkish state news agency Anatolia reports. There were 18 people from Turkey, Egypt, Somalia and Azerbaijan on the ship.

This incident comes against the backdrop of increased tension between the two countries. Turkey accuses Greece of “occupying” some demilitarized Aegean islands and of fixing an anti-aircraft missile system on Turkish fighter planes, which Athens denies.

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