Statement from the headquarters of the Hellenic Coastguard. Denial of claims in articles and audiovisual material
1. The Hellenic Coastguard categorically denies the articles in the
foreign press, as well as the doctored audiovisual material on a foreign
website, according to which a Hellenic Coastguard vessel allegedly
tried to sink a boat carrying refugees. Moreover, there is no reason to
deny the real event that members of the crew tried to draw near to their
large vessel a small inflatable craft by using a nautical hook (that
is, a tool used in accordance with international shipping technique and
practices for this purpose) while a nearby Turkish coastguard vessel
assisted the rescue operation by lighting and facilitating all of the
actions with a spotlight.
2. We believe it to be at the very least contradictory to allege that the Hellenic Coastguard supposedly follows such practices, which are incompatible with the values of our culture and which are condemnable at a time when the Hellenic Coastguard, from early 2015 until today, has saved some 90,000 refugees from the sea in Search and Rescue operations.
3. We also categorically deny that there was an exchange of relevant dialogue between the Heads of the Coastguards of Greece and Turkey, as presented in articles in the Turkish press.