Turkish tanker suspected of carrying migrants turns back from Greek waters

A Turkish tanker, suspected of carrying migrants, returned to Turkish waters after Greek coast guards followed it closely, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.

The tanker was moving between Turkish and international waters around the Greek islands of Chios and Samos before it was detected by Greek authorities, Kathimerini said.

"Authorities, already alerted about possible Turkish attempts to move large numbers of migrants to Greek islands using tankers that would, as in a previous case, be deliberately beached, decided to follow the ship closely, with coast guard special units ready to board it if it entered Greek territory," Kathimerini said.

I was not clear whether the ship was carrying any migrants since the ship's captain refused to respond to the coast guards’ messages, it said.

A ship carrying 193 migrants from Turkey, which sailed from the Turkish port of Çanakkale and was heading to Italy, went ashore on the Greek island of Kea due to poor weather on March 16.

Greek authorities have been on alert since then and monitoring six cargo ships off the Turkish coast suspected of carrying migrants to the Greek Islands, Kathimerini said.