The Greek Coast Guard clashed with a Turkish fishing boat off the coast of Chios on Tuesday evening.
Upon spotting the Turkish fishing boat in a stretch of sea between the Greek islands of Chios and Oinousses, the Greek Coast Guard warned the fishermen that they were in Greek territorial waters and they must leave.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, the three fishermen on the boat ignored the warning to leave the area and even began to throw objects at the Greek vessel, before attempting to ram into it.
Greek Coast Guard fired warning shots at Turkish fishing boat
The Greek Coast Guard then fired warning shots in the air near the Turkish fishing boat using Flobert guns, which are low-caliber pistols usually used for indoor target shooting.
Shots from Flobert guns are usually not fatal, nor do they cause serious injuries in most circumstances.
After the shots, the fishing boat moved back toward Turkey.
The Turkish Coast Guard announced that one of the fishermen was injured in the leg after the clash.
“Opening fire on defenseless fishermen… is unacceptable, it is a crime against humanity,” it declared in a statement.
According to the Turkish Coast Guard, the injured man was transferred to a hospital in Çeşme for treatment.
This incident comes as relations between Turkey and Greece are particularly tense, especially in terms of the two countries’ territorial waters in the eastern Aegean Sea.
Turkey will “intensify rhetoric against Greece”
Greece issued on Thursday a diplomatic protest, or demarche, to Turkey over the continued provocations of Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, who have been questioning the sovereignty of the Aegean islands.
Dr. Athanasios Drougos, a diplomatic and defense analyst, tells Greek Reporter that he expects Turkey to intensify its rhetoric against Greece in the coming weeks and months.
“Turkey wants to broaden the agenda of its demands against Greece. It aims to include the issue of the militarization of islands into a broader set of demands, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the status of islands such as Kastellorizo and the Greek right to extend territorial waters in the Aegean.”
Drougos says that Ankara is putting together a package of demands on various issues it has with Greece over the last 40 years aiming to present Athens to the international community as a delinquent state that systematically violates international treaties.
“In the next few months, I expect Turkey to increase its provocative stance against Greece. Its rhetoric will be more hostile and it will seek to bring the package of demands to international fora, including perhaps the UN Security Council and NATO,” the Greek defense analyst says.