The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned a Greek diplomat on Wednesday after Greek coast guard vessels fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing boat near the island of Chios in the eastern Aegean Sea and wounded a man.
"The Greek embassy undersecretary was summoned to our ministry today (Wednesday) after one of our citizens was injured" when the Greek coast guard shot at two Turkish fishing vessels in the Aegean sea, the source said.
Turkey presented a diplomatic note to the Greek side protesting the use of "disproportionate force against our fishing vessels in the Aegean waters," said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.
Upon receiving the information that a fisherman was injured in the leg as a result of the firing, two Turkish coast guard boats were immediately dispatched to the scene, along with 112 emergency health care services. The injured fisherman was transferred to Çeşme State Hospital.
While the Karaburun Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation about the incident, "Opening fire on defenseless fishermen by Greek elements is unacceptable, it is a crime against humanity," the Coast Guard Command said in its statement.
Turkey and Greece often trade barbs over the maritime zones of the Aegean Sea.
Turkish officials said one person was injured in the confrontation.
The dispute over sea boundaries led to a tense naval standoff between the two NATO members in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2020, before the two sides agreed to resume direct diplomatic contacts under pressure from allied governments including Germany.
Diplomats from Greece and Turkey met in Athens earlier this week. The meeting, which focused on economic and trade issues, was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragoyannis.
Neighbors Turkey and Greece are at odds over a number of issues, including competing claims over jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean, air space, energy, the ethnically split island of Cyprus and the status of the islands in the Aegean Sea.
Ankara also regularly accuses Greek officials of illegally pushing migrants back into its territory. Athens denies the claims.
Earlier this month, Turkey said it had found 19 frozen bodies close to the Greek border. Ankara accused Greece of allowing the migrants to die in the winter cold after stripping them of their clothes and forcing them back across the border.
The United Nations refugee chief Filippo Grandi voiced alarm Monday at increasing violence against refugees and migrants at European borders, warning that rights abuses and illegal pushbacks across frontiers risked becoming "normalized."
He highlighted, in particular, the consistent reports coming from Greece's land and sea borders with Turkey, pointing out that the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR had recorded nearly 540 reported incidents of informal returns by Greece since the start of 2020.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims made by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations. Instead of opting to solve problems with Ankara through dialogue, Athens has, on several occasions, refused to sit at the negotiation table and opted to rally Brussels to take a tougher stance against Turkey.
Despite having said that it has no intention of entering an arms race with its neighbor and NATO ally Turkey, Greece’s burgeoning arms program is designed to counter Turkish interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, against which France is among the few European Union states to have offered public support in past months. Turkey described Greece’s moves of arming itself as "futile."
Both countries also disagree on the status of the islands in the Aegean. Ankara says that Athens, in violation of international agreements, is militarizing Aegean islands that are under demilitarized status. Commenting on the issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week that Turkish officials have issued frequent warnings and that Turkey will make the highest-level warning possible if Greece continues its provocations regarding the demilitarized islands in the Aegean Sea.