The Greek coastguard clashed with a Turkish fishing boat off Chios on Tuesday evening.
After spotting the Turkish fishing boat in a stretch of sea between the Greek islands of Chios and Oinousses, the Greek coast guard warned the fishermen that they were in Greek territorial waters and that they should leave.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, the three fishermen on board the boat ignored the warning to leave the area and started throwing objects at the Greek vessel, before attempting to sink it.
Greek coastguard fired warning shots at Turkish fishing boat
The Greek coastguard then fired warning shots in the air near the Turkish fishing boat using Flobert rifles, which are small-caliber pistols usually used for indoor target shooting.
Shots from Flobert rifles are generally non-lethal and do not cause serious injury under most circumstances.
After the shooting, the fishing boat left for Turkey.
The Turkish Coast Guard announced that one of the fishermen suffered a leg injury after the clash.
“Opening fire on defenseless fishermen…is unacceptable, it is a crime against humanity,” he said in a statement.
According to the Turkish Coast Guard, the injured man was transferred to a hospital in Çeşme for treatment.
This incident comes as relations between Turkey and Greece are particularly tense, particularly with regard to the territorial waters of the two countries in the eastern Aegean Sea.
Turkey to ‘intensify rhetoric against Greece’
Greece launched a diplomatic protest on Thursday, or Stepsto Turkey over continued provocations by Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, who question the sovereignty of the Aegean islands.
Diplomatic and defense analyst Dr. Athanasios Drougos recounts Greek journalist that he expects Turkey to intensify its rhetoric against Greece in the weeks and months to come.
“Turkey wants to broaden the agenda of its claims against Greece. It aims to include the issue of the militarization of the islands within a broader set of claims, including the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the status of islands such as Kastellorizo and the Greek right to extend territorial waters into the Aegean Sea.
Drougos says Ankara is preparing a set of demands on various issues it has had with Greece over the past 40 years with the aim of portraying Athens to the international community as a delinquent state that systematically violates international treaties.
“In the coming months, I expect Turkey to strengthen its provocative stance against Greece. His rhetoric will be more hostile and he will seek to present all demands to international forums, including perhaps the UN Security Council and NATO,” the Greek defense analyst said.