Athens on alert for Turkish migrant ships

Athens on alert for Turkish migrant ships

The Hellenic Navy has in recent days identified and is monitoring the movements of about six cargo ships off the Turkish coast, concerned they are preparing to transport illegal migrants to the Greek islands. 

Athens fears a possible repeat of the incident on March 16 when a freighter that had set sail from Turkey’s Canakkale port ran aground on rocks on the island of Kea with 193 migrants aboard, forcing authorities to take them to shore. 

Fearing a repeat of such a scenario, the navy and the coast guard remain on standby, ready to intercept and prevent ships with migrants from reaching island shores.

According to estimates, one or two of the cargo ships that have been identified by authorities may attempt to head out to sea in the next few days with the intention of transporting hundreds of migrants to the islands, creating a health crisis given the Covid-19 pandemic.

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