Greece may claim damages for Imia boat-ramming incident

28 March 2018
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Parliamentary documents have revealed that Greece could apply for compensation from Turkey for the damage sustained by a Greek coastguard vessel hit by a Turkish ship in February.

A report in Greek newspaper Kathimerini cites a March 20 document which sees Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias say his ministry is examining a possible claim against Ankara.

Two videos captured the moment when a Turkish coastguard vessel rammed into the Greek patrol boat Gavdos near Imia.

Greek defense sources said the Gavdos was stationary near Imia when the Turkish vessel rammed into it. The Port Authority confirmed that the Turkish patrol boat had entered Greek territorial waters.

In the aftermath of the incident, Greece filed a strongly-worded demarche with the Turkish embassy.

Foreign Ministry Secretary General Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos conveyed the Greek government’s protest, while the Turkish ambassador to Athens was summoned to the ministry.

A claim for compensation would further complicate an already-complex pattern of diplomatic and military tensions between Greece and Turkey, particularly in the Aegean.

The Imia islets, close to the Turkish coast, have been the scene of repeated incidents between Turkish and Greek forces, alarming NATO partners, the U.S. and almost led to a war in 1996.

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