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Politics

Greece Denies Cross-Border Shots Killed Civilian in Turkey

Turkey's claims that a civilian was killed from a bullet fired on the Greek side of the border near the Evros River has been denied by Greek officials, sparking another diplomatic brush fire between the countries.

Turkey issued a diplomatic note to Greece’s Charge d’ Affaires at the Greek Embassy in Ankara, saying that a Turkish citizen was killed by individuals dressed in plain clothes in cross-border fire.

That was reported by Turkey's pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah, that is a propaganda mouthpiece for strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but Greece's Foreign Ministry said it didn't happen, reported Kathimerini.

Reports said the summoning of the Greek official was linked to shots fired from Greece towards Edirne outskirts which Turkey said killed a citizen, with the Turkish newspaper identifying him as Mehmet Durgun.

“The (Greek) Chargé d’ Affaires in Ankara, following relevant instructions, responding to an emergency call by which she was summoned earlier today at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, rejected in its entirety the Turkish allegations regarding an alleged incident in Evros,” Greece's Foreign Ministry said.

Greece said it was Turkey's obligation “to guard its borders and not allow the activity of traffickers and illegal immigration,” with Turkey accused of trying to send refugees and migrants across the border there.

In a statement, the Greek Police said: “Regarding Turkish media publications reproduced on websites, it is announced that there was no involvement of Greek forces in the alleged incident in Evros.”

The Daily Sabah said Durgun and was walking with another man, Süleyman Şener were near Meriç (Maritsa) River, a natural border between Turkey and Greece, when the alleged incident took place.

Durgun was killed with a bullet fired from Greece over the border as Şener rushed to his village of Adasarhanlı in Edirne to inform officials, the paper claimed, adding that Durgun's body was transferred to the morgue at Meriç State Hospital. 

Emrullah Özgün, the Mukhtar of Adasarhanlı village, told reporters that, “They shot three more bullets,” he said, adding that the perpetrators fled the scene immediately after the killing, not said to where.

Sources not named told the paper that Turkey informed the Greek Charge d' Affaires whomever allegedly fired the shots should be captured and punished.

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