Greek, Turkish coast guard boat crews exchange warning shots in latest Aegean Sea encounter

A Hellenic Coast Guard patrol boat (Photo: Hellenic Coast Guard; representative image only)

The crew of a Hellenic Coast Guard patrol boat and personnel on a Turkish Coast Guard Command vessel exchanged warning shots during a maritime encounter in the Aegean Sea earlier this month, US media outlet ABC News reports.

The incident occurred on January 6 while the two vessels were in the waters of the eastern Aegean off the Greek islet of Farmakonissi.

The Hellenic Coast Guard said its personnel fired warning shots into the air to discourage the Turkish vessel from manoeuvring in an attempt to ram their boat. The Turkish vessel then departed the area shortly afterwards.

However, Turkish officials claimed that the coast guard command boat was deployed to the area to drive off the Greek vessel as it was disrupting fishing activities off the western Turkish coastal town of Didim.

The Turkish account said the Greek crews fired warning shots as they left the area, and the Turkish crews were thus prompted to also fire their weapons into the air.

The incident occurred amid rising tensions between Greece and Turkey, which have been in a dispute over some of the islands in the Aegean since 1974.

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