Shots fired at Turkish cargo ship
Coast guard takes aim at vessel suspected of transporting drugs off Rhodes
A Greek coast guard ship fired warning shots at a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes yesterday. Reportedly, the ship was suspected of transporting narcotics.
According to reports, the shots were fired because the M/V ACT freight ship did not respond to repeated calls made by the Greek coast guard. The incident ended after the ship headed into Turkish territorial waters. CNN Turk said the Hellenic Coast Guard opened fire after the Turkish-flagged ship refused to comply with instructions to dock at the port of Rhodes for an inspection.
Turkish media said the incident left 16 bullet holes in the vessel and that it was in international waters, heading to Korfez in the Mar- mara region of Turkey from Iskenderun in the south of the country. The Turkish foreign ministry said there was no “justification for firing on an unarmed commercial ship carrying freight.” The incident occurred as the Cyprus talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana entered their second week yesterday. The negotiations were expected last night to grapple with the thorny issue of post-settlement security. Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said yesterday that the discussion will focus on the questions posed by the UN secretary-general’s special adviser, Espen Barth Eide, regarding the security system in Cyprus.. “Substantive discussions must take place because we are on the sixth day of negotiations and the discussion has not started.”