Tensions Ramped up Between Greece and Turkey

ATHENS (AFP) — The Greek coastguard said Wednesday that one of its patrol boats was rammed by a Turkish coastguard vessel amid heightened tension between the two countries.

No one was injured in the early morning incident, and the damage caused to the Greek boat was minor, the Greek coastguard said.

Refugees protest at an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos in October 2019. (AP photo/Michael Svarnias)

Tension between Greece and Turkey increased after Ankara said on Feb. 28 that it would no longer stop-asylum seekers from trying to enter the European Union.

The announcement prompted thousands to mass at the border and try to cross the Aegean.

Greek riot police have used tear gas and water cannons to hold back more than 35,000 people at the land border with Turkey.

Turkish riot police have also been sent to the border and have fired tear gas at Greek forces.

Both sides have accused each other of making false accusations.

Last week, the Greek coastguard released a video which it said showed a Turkish patrol boat in dangerously close pursuit of one of its vessels.

Earlier, the Turkish coastguard put out a video which appears to show a Greek coastguard vessel repelling an inflatable dinghy full of immigrants, in violation of rescue rules.

“We have not used any sort of excessive force,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told CNN on March 6 in response to claims that Greek forces had fired at and killed refugees.

“We are always reacting, we are never initiating, in terms of responding to the provocations that have taken place at the border,” Mitsotakis said.

© Agence France-Presse

%d bloggers like this: