A video showing the confrontation which occurred between Greek and Turkish coast guards on Thursday, January 5 near Farmakonisi has been released online.
During the incident, a Turkish Coast Guard vessel reportedly attempted to ram a boat crewed by the Greek Coast Guard. In response, the Greek Coast Guard fired warning shots.
The incident occurred amid a worsening diplomatic climate in the Aegean. In recent years, the relationship between Athens and Ankara has become increasingly antagonistic despite both countries ostensibly being NATO allies. Incidents in the waters and airspace over the Aegean are not uncommon.
Video footage of the incident
A video was released on Wednesday by the Greek newspaper Dimokratia. The video was filmed on board the Greek Coast Guard’s boat during the incident.
In the video, the Turkish vessel can be seen rapidly approaching the Greek boat at a dangerous distance. The Turkish vessel appears to be either attempting to ram the Greek vessel or threatening to do so with its maneuvers.
At least three Greek Coast Guard personnel can then be seen at the stern of their vessel firing warning shots into the air.
Incident between the Greek and Turkish Coast Guards
On January 5, a Greek Coast Guard crew was dispatched to identify three Turkish fishing vessels that were fishing in Greek territorial waters, southeast of Farmakonissi, a small Greek island in the Dodecanese.
The incident escalated when a Turkish Coast Guard vessel harassed the Greek Coast Guard vessel, performing dangerous maneuvers with the intent of ramming it, according to the account of the Greek Coast Guard.
The Greek crew fired warning shots in a secure sector, and the Turkish Coast Guard vessel withdrew toward the Turkish coast. The coast guard said the shots were fired into the air.
The statement did not make any mention of injuries or damage to either vessel during the incident southeast of the Greek islet of Farmakonissi, which was, according to the Greek Coast Guard, 1.5 nautical miles (1.7 miles) inside Greece’s territorial waters.