Turkey warns Greek minister off Aegean Kardak islets

Turkey warns Greek minister off Aegean Kardak islets

Greek defense minister in assault boat blocked from reaching Kardak islets in Aegean to lay wreath, says Interior Ministry

By Muhammed Boztepe

ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish Coast Guard on Sunday blocked Greece’s defense minister from approaching a pair of Turkish islets in the Aegean, according to Turkey’s Interior Ministry.

Coast guard officers warned off Panos Kammenos, who was heading to the Kardak islets in an assault boat to lay a wreath there.

Following the warning, the Greek boat left Turkey’s territorial waters without further incident, it added.

In a statement, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the coast guard units “did what was necessary.”

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year.

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