Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias sent a letter to EU top diplomat Josep Borrell asking him to take action against Turkey’s illegal fishing activities in Greek waters.
On 5 January, a Greek coast guard patrol vessel attempted to identify three Turkish fishing vessels fishing in the sea area southeast of Farmakonissi island – within Greek territorial waters – but was harassed by a Turkish vessel.
According to Athens, this has been a common practice which aims to question Greece’s sovereignty and trigger an incident between the two countries.
“This repeated Turkish practice creates a dangerous security environment and increases the possibility of an ‘accident’, which could be exploited by Ankara to escalate the tension between Greece and Turkey,” Dendias wrote in his letter.
Greek media reported that Dendias asked Borrell to activate the regulation related to “Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing”, according to which “if a third country does not comply, it is labelled as ‘non-cooperating’ and fisheries products can be banned from the EU market”.
Such a reaction “will send a resounding message to Ankara and demonstrate in practice the solidarity of the EU towards a member state, which on an almost daily basis faces the questioning of its sovereignty and threats of war”, Dendias noted.
Analysts in Athens estimate that Turkey is trying to artificially escalate tensions with Greece ahead of June’s upcoming critical general elections.
Recent polls suggest that the Turkish youth is turning its back on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party as the latter ranks last in youth preferences.
Source: Eura Ctiv