Thursday, December 27, 2012

PROVOCATION - Incident At Imia - Turkish Coastguard Threatens Greek Boat

Greek and Turkish coastguard vessels came face to face again. According to a report on defencenet, coastguard vessels from Greece and Turkey clashed in the area of Imia on December 26, and a "mini" battle broke out for the second time in less than three months.

The incident began when Greek fishing boats from Kalymnos and Leros decided to throw their fishing nets in the area near Imia in hopes of cashing in on a good catch. Soon after they did this, they were surprised to see a Turkish coastguard vessel, which rushed to the area and demanded that they leave immediately because they were fishing without a license "in Turkish territorial waters."

The threats promoted the fishermen to immediately contact the Hellenic Coastguard and as soon as they arrived the  coastguard vessels began chasing each other around the Greek fishing boats, placing the fishermen at harms way. One source apparently also told defencenet that a second Turkish vessel arrived on the scene to back up the Turkish boat, adding more tension to the scene.

Once again, the Turkish vessel attempted to ram the Greek coastguard, but our officers put up a pretty good fight, and confronted the situation with calmness and logic.

The fishermen were not that lucky though. They unfortunately decided to call it a day and sailed back to their islands without a catch to their names, since there were not enough forces to protect them.

Some may recall that a similar incident occurred in late September of this year near the island of Farmakonisi. At the time,  the Slovenians on board a FRONTEX ship that was patrolling the eastern area of Farmakonisi island on Tuesday morning to scare away pirate boats that were smuggling illegal immigrants into Greece, were shocked when they received a command from the Turkish side to abandon the area immediately because they were sailing in Turkish territorial waters! The FRONTEX officials called the Greek coastguard and in no time they came face-to-face with Turkish authorities and weapons were unlocked.


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