A Greek coast guard patrol boat fired warning shots early Thursday at a Turkish coast guard vessel that was trying to ram it in the eastern Aegean Sea, authorities in Athens said, as tensions between the two neighbors remain high.
A Greek coast guard statement said that “the crew fired warning shots in a secure sector and the Turkish coast guard vessel withdrew” toward the Turkish coast.
The statement did not make any mention of injuries, or damage to either vessel, during the incident southeast of the Greek islet of Farmakonissi.The incident comes as relations between Greece and Turkey, historic regional rivals and uneasy NATO allies, have been tenser than usual over the past three years.
The Greek coast guard said its vessel had been on a mission to identify three Turkish fishing boats in Greek waters off Farmakonissi. It said the Greek crew opened fire after “being harassed” by the Turkish coast guard boat, which the statement said “carried out dangerous maneuvers with the intention of ramming” the Greek vessel.