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Turkey says Greece opens fire on merchant ship in intl waters

Amid tensions between Turkey and Greece, the Turkish Coast Guard issued a statement on Saturday evening claiming that Greek forces fired on a commercial ship sailing in international waters.

According to the statement made by the Coast Guard Command, today at 13.27, Çanakkale Ship Traffic Services (VTS) fired fire against the Comoros-flagged Ro-Ro ship “Anatolian”, which was sailing in international waters 11 nautical miles southwest of Bozcaada, by 2 Greek Coast Guard elements reported.

Upon the notification, 2 Turkish Coast Guard Boats were sent to the region, Turkey Posts English reported.

It was stated that the Greek Coast Guard units quickly left the area upon the arrival of the Turkish boats.

After the incident, the ship came to the strait with a crew of 18 people.

Accompanied by the elements of the Coast Guard Command with 2 boats, the ship anchored at the Dark Harbor location of the strait.

In the statement made by the Coast Guard Command regarding the incident, after the fire opened in disregard of international law rules, it was determined that there were no casualties and no injured personnel in the 18 personnel (6 Egyptian, 4 Somali, 5 Azerbaijani and 3 Turkish citizens) on board.

Currently, the ship is being escorted by 2 Coast Guard Boats, and an investigation has been initiated regarding the incident as per the instructions of the Çanakkale On Duty Public Prosecutor, it was said.

Troubled relations between regional rivals Turkey and Greece worsened in recent days, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying early this week that Turkey could “come all of a sudden one night”.

Erdogan made the remarks at a news conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in response to a question about the possibility of a military attack on Greece.

Turkey and Greece have decades-old disputes over an array of issues, including territorial claims in the Aegean Sea and disagreements over the airspace there. The friction between the neighbors has brought the NATO allies to the brink of war three times in the last half-century.

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