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Greek Fishermen Say Turkish Fishing Boat Fired on Them

August 17, 2018

Greek fishermen, for the second time in a week, said a Turkish fishing vessel violating Greek waters in the Aegean fired shots in an apparent attempt to scare them off, leading the Coast Guard to investigate.

The latest incident took place west of the island of Samothrace in an area where fishermen from both countries work the waters with Turkey disputing sea lanes and having previously sent warships past Greek islands.

It happened only a day after two Greek soldiers being held in Turkey since accidentally crossing the border on March 1 in bad weather were released from jail where they were being held without charge.
A week earlier, Greek fishermen from the Dodecanese island of Leros charged that a gunman aboard a Turkish trawler fired rounds from an assault rifle at them.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under growing pressure domestically after a doubling of US tariffs on Turkish steel sent the lira plunging and created an economic crisis for him but there appears to be no let-up in Turkish provocations in the Aegean despite hopes the soldiers’ release would lead to better relations.

The US has also suspended sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey after Diaspora groups complained the weapons would put Greece at a military disadvantage as Turkish fighter jets also keep violating Greek airspace and engaging in mock dogfights with Greek pilots. Those indicidents have also kept happening.

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