Turkish Coast Guard accuses Greek ships of firing on its cargo vessel in Aegean Sea

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Escalating tensions between the regional rivals that have mounted in recent weeks, the Turkish Coast Guard has now accused Greek ships of firing on its cargo vessel in the Aegean Sea.

As per the Turkish statement, there were no casualties in the shooting 11 nautical miles (13 miles) southwest of the Turkish island of Bozcaada.

Two Turkish Coast Guard ships went to the area and the Greek boats left following what Ankara called “harassment fire”.

With both sides alleging airspace violations, the neighbouring countries have been embroiled in disputes for decades and frictions have ratcheted up in recent weeks.

Also see | Turkey versus Greece: A long history of disputes

Following Russia’s war in Ukraine, Greek officials have raised concerns about another outbreak of conflict in Europe.

While Turkey accuses Greece of breaking international agreements by keeping a military presence on islands close to its coastline, Athens says it needs to defend its eastern islands.

Saying the Greek Coast Guard is attacking them, the Turkish Coast Guard released a video showing a bullet hole in a window and in the ceiling of the cargo ship’s bridge.

Despite recent “unacceptable” comments from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday that Athens would try to keep communication channels with Ankara open.

(With inputs from agencies)

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