Greek coastguard fires at Turkish freighter suspected of drug smuggling in Aegean – Ankara protests

Turkish freighter M/V ACT is moored at Marmaris port, Turkey, July 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz
 DW — Greece’s coast guard has fired “warning shots” at a Turkish freight ship near Rhodes island, prompting a protest from Ankara. Greek police say they acted on intelligence information that it was “transporting drugs.

Turkey’s foreign ministry condemned Greece on Monday over the shooting that left no one injured – but 16 bullet holes in the freighter’s hull, according to its captain.

The vessel, the M/V ACT, had left the southern Turkish port of Iskenderun, near the Syrian border, and was heading west to the Gulf of Izmit when, according to Greek coast guards, it entered Greek waters northeast of Rhodes.

Warning shots were fired but the ship did not change course,” said the Greek coast guard.

The freighter’s captain Haluk Sami Kalkavan told Turkish media that he refused the Greek order to dock for inspection at the port of Rhodes, which lies about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Turkish coast.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu media outlet said two Turkish coast boats and a navy assault boat were sent and the freighter was accompanied back into Turkish waters.

There had been no risk of water intake from the bullet holes, the captain added.

The Turkish foreign ministry described the freighter as a commercial, unarmed ship and said the shooting incident was unjustified.