Turkish Coast Guard vessels docked in the occupied areas of northern Cyprus prevented a Cypriot fishing vessel from fishing in international waters.
The owner of the boat complained of damage to the electronic equipment of his fishing boat “Maria – Bouboulina”.
The owner, Aristos Aristeidou, said that “Maria – Bouboulina” went fishing again in the area off Apostolos Andreas after a long time due to the constant harassment that preceded.
This includes the seizure of another boat and the arrest of the five-member crew in September 2018 by Turkey.
Yesterday, at around 14:30 local time, the fishing boat was sailing 20 nautical miles off Apostolos Andreas in international territorial waters, said Aristeidou.
A Turkish Coast Guard patrol boat then approached and “we were told to wait for boarding.”
“At around 16:00 we were asked to stop and eight people arrived on an inflatable boat and boarded the fishing boat,” added the owner of the boat, who managed to photograph the moment and send the relevant material.
The five members of the fishing boat and Aristidou himself were led to the bow where they were asked a number of questions, such as why they were there, why the trawl carried a Greek flag and why there were so many antennas on the boat.
“We told them that we are a European boat and we came to fish and when we asked why they did not disturb the Italian fishing boats in the area, they did not answer and laughed,” said Aristeidou.
The captain and the owner of the boat were taken to the cabin and there, according to him, the members of the Turkish Coast Guard began to check the wiring of the antennas and to install a “plug”, before finally leaving the fishing boat.
“At 20.30 on Tuesday we were told to leave and they drew on the map a line two kilometers after Deryneia and claimed that it is the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone and not to come again, but we told them that Cyprus is there,” continued Aristeidou.
It was found that the interference in the cables caused damage to three of the nine systems of the boat, including the radar and satellite systems.
According to the owner, the damage exceeds 40,000 euros.