Greek coast guard opens fire on Turkish cargo ship in the Aegean

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 3, 2017

NTV said the vessel continued to move along the route, while two boats of the Turkish Coast Guard arrived at the scene of the incident.

Greek coastal guard boats Monday allegedly opened fire on a Turkish commercial ship at worldwide waters in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Rhodes, according to Turkish Interior Ministry sources.

Sami Kalkavan, captain of the M/V ACT, told the broadcaster CNN Turk that the Greek coast guard had ordered him to dock in Rhodes, which is some 15 miles (24 km) from the Turkish coast, for inspection. Kalkavan said the Greek coast guard instructed him to approach the Rhodes port in global waters but he refused to obey the call and briefed the Turkish side of the situation.

The Turkish ship's crew found 36 bullet holes on the ship's hull.

Turkey said the action was "disproportionate" and showed no regard for human life. "They wanted to check (the ship), and we didn't accept that", he said.

There can be no reason to open fire on an unarmed ship sailing from one Turkish port to another, it added. He said there was no risk of water intake from the bullet holes.

In an initial statement, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the ministry is in contact with the related authorities.

Two Turkish coast guard boats were also dispatched to the area, and the ship was first brought to Turkish territorial water, later to be brought to the port of southwestern resort town of Marmaris.

It is unclear yet whether there are injured in the incident.

Kalkavan confirmed the ship, which had set off from Turkey's southeastern city of Iskenderun near Turkey's Syrian border, had returned to Turkish waters.

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