February 13, 2018 / 4:31 PM / 2 months ago

Greece protests to Turkey over boat incident in Aegean Sea

ATHENS, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Greece sent an official complaint to Turkey on Tuesday, its foreign ministry said, after a Turkish vessel collided with a Greek coast guard boat off disputed islets in the Aegean Sea.

The Greek coastguard said in a statement that the incident took place at Imia, known as Kardak in Turkish, at about midnight on Monday.

A Turkish patrol vessel “made some risky manoeuvres” striking the left side of the Greek coast guard vessel patrolling the area, and damaging it. There were no injuries, the coastguard said.

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically split Cyprus to sovereignty over airspace and overflights.

They came to the brink of war in 1996 in a sovereignty dispute over the islets, but tensions have eased since.

“Dangerous incidents, such as this one, which put human lives in danger, are the result of the escalating and provocative behaviour shown increasingly by Turkey in recent days,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Turkey must end the violations of international law and acts that do not contribute in the development of the two countries’ relations.”

Turkey’s ambassador to Athens was also called at the foreign ministry, it said in the statement.

Tensions between the two countries have been on the rise since a Greek court blocked the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers Ankara accuses of involvement in a failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou, Editing by William Maclean)

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