US agency provided intelligence on Turkish cargo ship Aegean: report
ISTANBULThe United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is behind intelligence provided to Greek authorities that a Turkish-flagged freighter, to which the Greek coastguard had opened fire in the Aegean Sea on July 3, was allegedly carrying drugs, daily Habertürk reported on July 25.
The Greek coast guard fired 16 bullets on July 3 at the Turkish commercial ship, the M/V ACT, sailing from the İskenderun port in southern Turkey to the İzmit port in northwestern Turkey. The Greek authorities later said the ship had not obeyed their calls to stop at a Greek port and the cargo ship was allegedly transporting drugs.
Later on, Turkish authorities sent a diplomatic note to Greece, asking for detailed information as to the incident. Greece then said, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had provided them with the intelligence of an alleged drug trafficking incident and as the Turkish dry cargo ship “had denied the warnings,” they had “fired on the ship’s safe places as a procedure,” according to the information obtained by Habertürk.
Upon the information received from the Greek authorities, Turkish coast guard teams reportedly had the ship dock at the Marmaris port on the Mediterranean cost, after which they inspected it along with detector dogs, but no drugs were found aboard.
Turkey then asked the DEA’s Istanbul and Ankara offices of the source of their intelligence, according to the daily. The U.S. agency officials were reported to first have claimed the intelligence did not belong to them. Turkey then told them “to provide the necessary explanation” regarding the incident.
The agency has not made an explanation so far, although two weeks have already passed, Habertürk said.
In the meantime, Turkey has once again confirmed from the Greek authorities they had received the intelligence from the DEA.