Jan 05 2018

Turkey-Greece standoff over disputed islets of Imia/Kardak

The Turkish and Greek coastguard vessels had a tense six-hour standoff near the disputed, uninhabited Kardak islets, known as Imia in Greece, Turkey’s Doğan News Agency (DHA) said.

Two boats from the Greek coastguard approached to the Kardak islets, on Wednesday morning, the agency said. When they entered Turkish territorial waters, the Turkish coastguard intervened, it said.

The tension lasted for six hours, DHA said, with both countries’ ship sailing in parallel to each other, at times approaching as close as 30 metres.

Towards late afternoon, the Greek boats pulled back to the nearby Greek island of Kalymnos, while Turkish coastguard ships kept patrolling the waters around Kardak, it said.

The pair of uninhabited islets, with a total surface area of four hectares, has been subject to a territorial dispute between Turkey and Greece since a naval accident in 1995. A year later, in February 1996, the two countries almost came to blows over the islets after three Greek military officers were killed when their helicopter crashed over the islets during a patrol.

Map of the Aegean Sea, locating the two uninhabited islets disputed by Greece and Turkey. - AFP
Map of the Aegean Sea, locating the two uninhabited islets disputed by Greece and Turkey. - AFP
https://www.dha.com.tr/yurt/yunan-askerini-kardaka-yaklastirmadilar/haber-1558133