Defense minister throws wreath into sea off Imia to mark anniversary


Defense Minister Panos Kammenos threw a wreath into the sea off the uninhabited islets of Imia in the eastern Aegean on the anniversary of a crisis that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war in 1996 and cost the lives of three Hellenic Navy servicemen.

The Turkish coast guard maintained an overt presence, sending patrol boats and a helicopter to monitor the ceremony, which took place from the deck of the Greek Nikiforos gunboat less than a dozen kilometers off Turkey’s shores.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry meanwhile, issued an announcement on Sunday saying that the “coast guard prevented the Greek defense minister from approaching a pair of Turkish islets in the Aegean,” according to Anadolu news agency.

Turkey disputes Greece’s sovereignty over these and other islands of the eastern Aegean.