Turkish Coast Guard Fires Warning Shot at Cypriot Coast Guard Boat, Reports Suggest
ATHENS (Sputnik) – A Turkish coast guard vessel opened fire on a Cypriot coast guard boat off Tylliria coast in the island’s northwest, Cyprus’ CNA news agency reported Friday.
The Cypriot port and maritime police boat with three crew members on board was on a routine patrol for undocumented migrants from Turkey in the Kato Pyrgos Tylliria area when it came upon the Turkish coast guard, according to the report. The incident happened at dawn some 11 nautical miles from the Kato Pyrgos Tylliria port.
The Turkish coast guard vessel chased off the Cypriot boat by opening a warning fire. There were a total of four warning shots fired, CNA said.
A Turkish Coast Guard vessel speeds during an exercise by the Turkish Coast Guard on the Aegean Sea near Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Cypriot broadcaster RIK reported that the Turkish coast guard continued to chase the Cypriot boat almost all the way to the fishing port of Kato Pyrgos, where it took shelter.
Cypriot Defence Ministry spokesman Christos Pieris noted that it was not a simple incident and stressed that “the case is being investigated and the operational centre of the National Guard is gathering information for the responsible ministry to take action”, as quoted by RIK.
The incident has already been reported to the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, which, in turn, will inform the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, UNFICYP.