Ankara, Turkey – A Greek and a Turkish Coast Guard boat collided near the rocky islets of Imia or Kardak in the Aegean Sea on Wednesday morning when the Turkish vessel rammed the Greek one which was patrolling the area, according to the Greek Coast Guard on Wednesday.
The Greek newly-built Rafnar type speedboat suffered some damages, according to sources that did not specify their extent.
On Thursday, the Turkish Coast Guard prevented two Greek fishing boats entered Turkish territorial waters near Kardak, as the islets are known in Turkish, which were pushed back with manoeuvring by four of its vessels.
Greece and Turkey came to the brink of war in 1996 due to a sovereignty dispute over the islets in Mavi Vatan.
Imia or Kardak is a pair of small uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea, situated between the Aegean island chain of the Dodecanese and the southwestern mainland coast of Turkey. Imia/Kardak was the object of a military crisis and subsequent dispute over sovereignty between Greece and Turkey in 1996.
The Imia/Kardak dispute is part of the larger Aegean dispute, which also comprises disputes over the continental shelf, the territorial waters, the air space, the Flight Information Regions (FIR) and the demilitarization of the Aegean islands in Mavi Vatan. In the aftermath of the Imia/Kardak crisis, the dispute was also widened, as Turkey began to lay parallel claims to a larger number of other islets (EGAYDAAK issue) in the Aegean. These islands, some of them inhabited, are claimed as Greek by Greece but as grey zones of undetermined sovereignty by Turkey.