The captain of a Turkish freighter says Greek coast guard opened fire on his ship after he refused an order to dock on the Greek island of Rhodes Monday.
Turkey denounced the act, stating it was “disproportionate” and showed serious disregard for the sailors on board.
"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."
Sami Kalkavan who captained the MV/ACT, told CNN Turk in an interview that the ship had retrieved its cargo from a Turkish port and was cruising through theMediterraneann waters in the direction of the Izmit Bay in the Sea of Marmara.
"The coast guard asked for the ship to be docked at the port at Rhodes immediately, and we did not accept this. They wanted to check (the ship), and we didn't accept that," he said.
When the captain refused to comply, the officer fired on the carrier, pounding 16 bullet holes through the vessel.
“They said they would fire if we didn't stop, they did what they said. Now there are 16 holes in the ship,” Kalkavan said, without indicating why he had not wanted the ship to be inspected. He said there was no risk of water intake from the bullet holes and no crew members suffered injury.
The coast guard defended their actions, stating they were attempting to search the ship’s cargo after receiving an anonymous tip that they were transporting narcotics.
On refusing to dock, the ship moved back into Turkish waters. The broadcaster NTV reported that two Turkish coast guard ships were at the scene, and quoted Turkey's Foreign Ministry as saying it was in contact with the relevant authorities and promising “similar events will never happen again.”