Foreign Ministry Makes Representations to UN Regarding Turkish Coast Guard Incident (Update 3)

The Foreign Ministry approached UNFICYP after a Turkish coast guard fired warning shots at a Cyprus port patrol boat and maritime police off Kato Pyrgos Tylliria earlier Friday, ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel told the Cypriot news agency.

The boat was on a routine patrol when it was chased by the Turkish Coast Guard as it made its way to the port of Kato Pyrgos.

Samuel said the ministry condemned the incident and asked the peacekeeping force to investigate.

“It is premature to say whether the incident is linked to the climate created by Turkey for the illegal visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the occupied areas,” he added.

Samuel said the Foreign Ministry was informed by police of the incident early in the morning and has since been in open communication with the relevant authorities in the Republic.

“On the basis of a preliminary briefing, we have already made representations to the United Nations peacekeeping forces, denouncing the incident and asking them to carry out an investigation,” added the spokesperson.

Further actions and representations will be decided on the basis of the full picture that will emerge once the relevant reports and data have been received.

Turkey’s violations and illegal actions like these are reported at all levels to the UN, EU and other bodies and are taken into account in discussions regarding the Cyprus issue and behavior. Ankara, he added.

Samuel said that Nicosia in such cases always analyzes events calmly with a view to defending the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. “We are not interested in playing the game of creating tensions that either side may seek, as our goal at all times is to help create the conditions that will allow the resumption of substantive talks to resolve the issue. Cypriot issue, “he noted. .

The incident happened around 3.30am during a regular maritime police patrol to check on illegal immigrants arriving from Turkey, police spokesman Christos Andreou told the Cypriot News Agency.

The small three-membered boat spotted a Turkish Coast Guard vessel coming from the northern part of the island about 11 nautical miles from the port of Kato Pyrgos Tyllirias.

The boat then started heading for the Tylliria fishing shelter, but the Turkish coastguard, about 30 meters long, started chasing it. According to Andreou, the coast guard fired several warning shots at the boat four nautical miles from the coast, before heading north.

In the aftermath of the incident, Kato Pyrgos Tyllirias Community Council President Nikos Kleanthous reiterated his long-standing demands for increased patrols and checks both at sea and on land.

He said it is “incomprehensible” that the area’s port and maritime authority is equipped with only one small boat.

According to Kleanthous, “the serious provocation of a Turkish coast guard is part of the protection offered to the traffickers of illegal immigrants who have come out very often in the area of ​​Kato Pyrgos Tillyria in recent times”.

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