A collision on Wednesday at 05:50 between a Greek-flagged tanker and Turkish fishing boat off Turkey’s Mediterranean coast of Karataş district, in Adana province, resulted in an overturned Turkish fishing boat and the death of four people. The reason behind the crash of the Polatbey fishing boat and the Greek-flagged Ephesus was not known straight away, judicial procedures regarding the incident are still ongoing.
The search-and-rescue mission by the Turkish coast guard was being conducted ever since communications with the boat was lost. A manned reconnaissance aircraft belonging to the General Directorate of Security, a team of divers, and four coast guard boats were involved in the search. The Adana governor’s office paid respects to the dead have sent condolences to their families.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry described the incident as ‘tragic’, the Ministry tweeted, “We deplore the loss of human lives and extend our condolences to the bereaved families.”
Hostile Tensions between Turkey and Greece have been on a rise for over several months regarding the control of energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. While Ankara was accused by Greece of trying to ease a crisis by undermining efforts over drilling rights in disputed waters, the European Union has been urged by the MEPs to impose disciplinary measures on Turkey.
Athens declared Turkey’s latest NAVTEX exploration unfit on Wednesday, saying that “its neighbors were continuing to violate the international law of the sea and undermining the stability of the area.”
A similar accident occurred last month, when a Portuguese cargo ship crashed with a Greek warship off the Piraeus coast, near Athens. The captain of the Portuguese vessel was arrested and two crew members of the Greek warship were ‘slightly injured.’