Greece lodges complaint with Turkey over border dispute

Greece has lodged a complaint with Turkey over a border dispute, after Turkish forces occupied a small patch of contested land this week, AFP said on Saturday citing a Greek foreign ministry source. 

The source confirmed an earlier report by Greek state news agency ANA that Athens had lodged a protest with Ankara.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday said there was a dispute over the exact boundary of the Evros river (known as the Meriç river in Turkey) that divides the two countries. "The riverbed has changed," AFP quoted Dendias as saying.

It was reported this week that around 35 Turkish soldiers had entered a 1.6-hectare floodplain on the east bank of the river which is normally submerged at this time of year, and set up a camp with a small Turkish flag flying from a tree and rejected Greek demands to withdraw.

Dendias was criticised in the Greek parliament for saying on Wednesday that "all these things can be resolved via a joint committee and the relevant measurements."

"We're talking about a few tens of metres," he said.

Greece’s main opposition Syriza party on Friday demanded an immediate briefing "over Turkey's arbitrary and aggressive actions."

Tensions have been growing between Turkey and Greece over recent weeks due to Ankara’s decision to open its land borders in late February to migrants and refugees seeking to enter Greece, as well as a dispute over gas exploration rights off the coast of Cyprus, and Turkish claims to Greek waters.