February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Letter from Dendias to Borel: Turkish provocations could lead to serious conflict

The repeated Turkish provocations, the Greek Foreign Minister noted, create a dangerous situation and increase the possibility of an “accident” that Ankara could use to escalate tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias sent a letter yesterday to the High Representative EU Foreign Policy Officer Josep Borel on the incident of the harassment of a Coast Guard vessel by the Turkish flotilla on January 5 in Pharmaconisi. According to diplomatic sources, in his letter, Mr Dendias refers to an incident where a Coast Guard patrol boat, while on duty to detect three Turkish fishing vessels fishing in the sea area southeast of Pharmakonisi within Greek territorial waters, has undergone pursued by a Turkish coast guard boat.

Turkish provocations can lead to an “accident” and instrumentalization of the conflict.

According to the same sources, the Greek Foreign Minister noted that “this repeated Turkish practice creates a dangerous environment and increases the possibility of an ‘accident’ that could be used by Ankara to escalate tensions between Greece and Turkey.” In addition, the letter refers to the non-cooperation and often aggressive attitude of Turkish fishermen not only towards coast guard vessels, but also towards Greek fishing vessels, an attitude directed against the legitimate fishing activities of Greek fishermen. It is easy to understand, the minister notes, what will be the consequences of such a development of events for the region as a whole, as well as for Euro-Turkish relations.

Like us previously reported, a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat was harassed by a Turkish Coast Guard vessel off Farmakonisi Island in the Dodecanese, in the southeastern Aegean Sea, on Thursday morning. According to a statement released by the Greek Coast Guard, its boat found three Turkish fishing boats that were fishing illegally in Greek territorial waters southeast of Farmakonisi. He was pursued by a Turkish vessel, which was making dangerous maneuvers to ram a Greek patrol boat. At one point, a Greek Coast Guard boat fired warning shots in the safe zone. The incident ended when the Turkish ship left the scene towards the Turkish coast.

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