Greek coast guard allegedly attempts to sink refugee boat

Turkish Institute of Public Diplomacy releases video that shows Greek coast guard officers attempting to sink refugee boat

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Refugees and migrants board Turkish Coast Guard Search and Rescue ship

Updated Nov 21, 2015

A video released by the Turkish Institute of Public Diplomacy on Friday showed a Greek coast guard ship allegedly attempting to sink a Syrian refugee raft brimming with Syrian refugees in the Aegean sea.

The video was shot by the Turkish coast guard on November 12 and showed a man bearing Greek coast guard livery who was on board of a ship, attempting to strike a raft with a long pole when the refugees came alongside the vessel.  

Later the refugees were found in a half-sunken raft waving at the Turkish coast guards and waiting to be rescued. The Turkish coast guards rescue the refugees taking them aboard.

The raft had 58 Syrian refugees on board including children, according to the Turkish media.

According to Turkish media reports, the video was also shown to the chief of Greek coast guard, Vice Admiral Athanasios Athanasopoulos, during a high official meeting in Ankara on Wednesday on the condition of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Athanasopoulos was accompanying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was in Turkey to attend a friendly football match between the two countries and talk about the refugee crisis.

Greek authorities have not yet commented on the video. 

Europe is facing a major refugee crisis, with more than 600,000 people making their way through Greece so far this year, with the purpose of fleeing war and poverty in their countries.

Greece, tackling its own economic crisis, is used as a route particularly by Syrian refugees, in order to cross over into other European countries.

The vast majority of refugees do not stay in the country, as Greece has said it does not have the funds to provide assistance for all of them.

On their way to a new and better life, more than 500 people have died or have gone missing in the Aegean sea since the beginning of the year.


TRTWorld and agencies