In a highly egregious move, a Turkish coast guard vessel demanded that a Frontex boat patrolling in Greek territorial waters in the Aegean Sea leave the area claiming it had illegally entered Turkish territory on Thursday morning.
The incident occurred near the island of Panagia east of the Oinoussesisle cluster, off the north-east coast of the Greek island of Chios at around 6 in the morning, when Greek fishermen and the crew of the Frontex boat saw a Turkish Coast Guard boat carrying out dangerous manoeuvres in Greek waters.
Immediately, a lifeguard vessel from the port of Chios arrived for reinforcements, with the Turkish side escalating the “confrontation” a few hours later by dispatching a second boat in response.
The latest provocation in the Aegean Sea by Turkey was recorded on a video, which was provided to local new site politischios.gr by Paraschos Karabourniotis.
The Turkish ship entered Greek territorial waters in the Vatos area of Oinousses, and began started manoeuvring dangerously close to the Frontex boat and the Greek fishing boat at a distance of 1.5 nautical miles from the Greek coast.
The standoff lasted for almost three hours, with the two boats of the Turkish Coast Guard continuing their risky manoeuvres, “targeting” mainly the boat of the Greek fishermen, but also the boat of the port of Chios and that of the Frontex. The Turkish boats eventually left the Greek waters for the port of Cesme.
Circles of the Ministry of Shipping told protothema.gr that “we are fortunate that on this occasion there was a ship of Frontex directly involved. Because in previous cases, Frontex officials would insinuate that the Greek side may have carried out erroneous moves, always downplaying the provocations. But now they were eye witnesses themselves and will file the appropriate reports.”