According to the coastguard, the Turkish vessel did not respond to repeated calls from the Greek Coast Guard while in territorial waters. The ship then entered Turkish waters and the Turkish coastguard took over.
The official briefing of the Hellenic Coast Guard confirms that the Rhodes Port Authority received information that a cargo ship flying the flag of Turkey sailing near Rhodes was carrying drugs.
The cargo ship was located northwest of Rhodes and within Greek territorial waters. A coast guard vessel approached the ship and asked the captain to stop.
The captain, however, did not obey the coast guard commands and continued his course. The Greek ship used sound signals to no avail. The tension escalated to the point that the Greek boat was forced to fire warning shots, before the Turkish ship left territorial waters.
Turkish media, however, gave a twist to the event accusing the Greek coast guard of firing against the cargo ship without warning and for no reason.
According to Turkish authorities the cargo ship was sailing in international waters, traveling from the bay of Alexandretta in southern Turkey to Corfez in the bay of Nicomedia, and never entered Greek waters.
Turkey condemns Greek coastguard
Turkey strongly condemned the Greek coastguard on Monday for firing on a Turkish freighter in the Aegean Sea and called it a “disproportionate” act that disregarded the most basic right of human life.
“There is no justification … for firing on an unarmed commercial ship carrying freight between two Turkish ports,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “Our sole consolation is that nobody was killed or injured as a result of the incident.”