Greek Min Mitarachi Accuses Turkey of Trying to Create Tension

ATHENS — Μigration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi made the following statement on Friday regarding the multiple incidents of migrants escorted to Greek waters by the Turkish coast guard. "On Friday morning, the Greek coastguard reported many incidents during which the Turkish coastguard and the Turkish Navy accompanied migrant boats of dubious quality to the European borders in an attempt to provoke tension with Greece".

According to Greek port authorities, the Turkish vessel entered Greek territorial waters and harassed a Greek coast guard patrol boat, conducting dangerous manoeuvres which placed the Greek vessel at risk.

At the same time, a second incident in the same region took place early on Friday when a boat carrying foreign nationals attempted to enter Greek territorial waters accompanied by a Turkish patrol boat, which was spotted by a Greek Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel .

The Greek vessel made repeated attempts to communicate with the Turkish patrol boat regarding the collection of the foreign nationals in the dinghy, to no avail. The dinghy with the foreign nationals did not finally enter Greek waters and the people on board were collected by another Turkish patrol boat after the first had already departed from the area.

Moreover, early Friday, also in the same sea region but within Turkish waters near the border line, another Greek coast guard offshore patrol vessel spotted a boat with foreign nationals on board. The boat was approached by two Turkish patrol boats that tried to push them toward Greek territorial waters without success.

Finally, the foreign nationals were collected by the Turkish patrol boats after repeated notices from the Greek coast guard boat. In this case also, the migrants boat did not cross the border into Greek territorial waters.


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