Turkish Coast Guard Harasses Greek Vessels Off Kastellorizo

(EUROKINISSI/Vassilis Papadopoulos, FILE)

KASTELLORIZO, Greece – Adding to growing tension over sea rights between the countries, the Turkish Coast Guard reportedly harassed crews from the Greek port Authority and military who were trying to pick up refugees and migrants from a rubber dinghy off the islet of Strongyli  near the coast of the southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo.

According to reports, the migrants and refugees were collected and transferred to Kastellorizo despite the incident which occurred as Greek and Turkish delegations discussed Confidence Building Measures in Athens, said Kathimerini.

Kastellorizo is near the coast of Turkey which has allowed human traffickers to keep sending thousands of refugees and migrants to Greek islands under an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the EU.

Turkey and Libya also made a deal – denounced as unlawful by Greece but under review by the United Nations – which splits the seas, leading Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to say he would have energy ships start drilling off Crete at some point.