Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos has congratulated the captain of the Greek frigate that was involved in last week's collision with a Turkish ship in the eastern Mediterranean.
According to Greek media, Panagiotopoulos had a brief talk over radio on Tuesday with Commander Ioannis Saliaris, who was commandeering the Limnos frigate when it collided with Turkish ship Kemal Reis in the eastern Mediterranean.
“You are a tough guy, captain sir, congratulations,” said the defence minister.
“I only carried out my duty,” the commander replied.
Unverified reports said the collision took place after Kemal Reis instructed Limnos to change speed, with the Greek commander holding steady and replying that his ship had right of way
The incident occurred last week when Turkish seismic survey ship Oruc Reis was moving in waters between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete, accompanied by Turkish frigates but also shadowed by a number of Greek frigates.
Unverified media reports said the collision took place after Kemal Reis instructed Limnos to change speed, with the Greek commander holding steady and replying that his ship had right of way.
Diagrams in the media suggested Kemal Reis was moving on the left side of Limnos, when the Turkish captain reportedly steered the ship to the right, but without Limnos slowing down.
A collision then took place with the Greek ship’s bow striking the stern of the Turkish vessel as it was turning. Specific circumstances and details over the incident were not made known through official channels on either side.
Greece has said that Turkey was responsible for any accident at sea in the eastern Mediterranean, while the two NATO members are involved in a maritime dispute that has recently involved escalated rhetoric.