Defence minister congratulates frigate captain after unintentionally ramming Turkish ship

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Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos on Tuesday congratulated the captain of the Greek frigate that accidentally collided with a Turkish ship.

On August 12, frigate Limnos was sailing near Oruc Reis, Turkey’s survey ship, when it came into the path of one of the Turkish naval escorts, the Kemal Reis.

The Greek frigate manoeuvred to avoid a head-on collision and in the process its bow touched the rear of the Turkish frigate, according to a Greek defence source that spoke to Reuters.

Photo: Defence Ministry Greece

Following the incident, Commander Ioannis Salaries told Panagiotopoulos that he had done his duty.

Tensions have risen this week after Turkey sent a survey vessel to the region, escorted by warships, to map out sea territory for possible oil and gas drilling – an area where Turkey and Greece both claim jurisdiction. EU foreign ministers were due to discuss the issue on Friday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that any attack on a Turkish ship exploring for oil and gas in disputed Mediterranean waters would incur a “high price” and suggested Turkey had already acted on that warning.

“We said that if you attack our Oruc Reis you will pay a high price, and they got their first answer today,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, without giving details.

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