Turkey condemns Greece for opening fire on Turkish cargo ship in Aegean
ANKARAThe Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Greece for an incident involving a Greek coast guard boat opening fire on a Turkish commercial ship on July 3.
In a written statement, the ministry said the Turkish ship, the M/V ACT, which was carrying dry cargo, was sailing from the İskenderun port in southern Turkey to the İzmit port in northwestern Turkey when it came under attack by a Greek coast guard boat.
“We strongly condemn the unmeasured act of Greek authorities in this disgusting incident,” the statement said.
There can be no justification for opening fire on an unarmed ship sailing from one Turkish port to another, it added.
“These bullets were randomly shot.
The statement said the only solace is that no one got killed or wounded in the incident.
The commercial ship that had come under attack later docked at Marmaris port in southwestern Turkey after it was escorted by three Turkish coastal guard boats and an assault boat.
After the ship docked, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Muğla deputy Nihat Öztürk inspected the ship riddled with bullet marks.
Speaking to reporters, Öztürk said the ship carrying 13 crew members had more than 20 bullet marks.
“If one of these bullets had hit one of our friends then perhaps we would be talking about other things now,” he added.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık also condemned the incident on July 4.
“Shooting on a ship sailing on international waters cannot be explained with reason or logic. This is an abdication of reason. They [the Greek coast guard] also made an explanation after the incident and the apology is worse than the misdemeanor,” Işık told state broadcaster TRT Haber, referring to the Greek coast guard’s suggestion that the cargo ship was allegedly carrying drugs.
“If there is such a thing, then contact the Turkish side immediately and let’s conduct an operation together. But it is obvious that this is not done with good will,” he added.
“No reason can legitimize shooting on a commercial ship, especially one with no guns on it. Of course, Greece’s internal politics are a bit problematic at the moment. But this is not acceptable. In recent period Greece has made a number of provocative initiatives. We give the necessary response whenever necessary,” Işık said.