New images appear to contradict claims by the Turkish government that its forces removed a Greek flag from an islet in the eastern Aegean.
A Greek flag was seen still flying on top of the highest peak in Mikros Anthropofas, an uninhabited islet south of Fourni on Monday.
Mikros Anthropofas is the focal point of renewed tensions in the Aegean after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country’s coast guard removed a Greek flag from the islet, whose sovereignty is disputed by Ankara.
Local site samostimes.gr published photos of the Greek flag on the islet and a Greek warship and coast guard boat patrolling the area.
The Greek government has denied claims by Turkey’s prime minister that its forces removed the flag, saying there had been no violation of Greek territory.
Greece’s Deputy Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis has said that Greek radars did not pick up any suspicious Turkish activity.
“There has been no incident of the Turkish coastguard or special forces taking down the Greek flag,” he noted.
The Greeks who raised the flag over five islets, including Mikros Anthropofas, say they did it to honor Giorgοs Baltadoros, the Greek pilot who lost his life when his Mirage fighter crashed off Skyros last week.