There are some ungrounded allegations on Greek news portals and social media by Greek authorities regarding that Turkey ignored its responsibilities and remained unresponsive to the crossing of a migrant boat with 13 irregular migrants which was in Turkish territorial waters, the northern part of Mytilene Island and put the lives of irregular migrants in danger on 30 July 2021. On the other hand, they claimed that Greek assets rescued 10 irregular migrants on the sunken boat in Turkish territorial waters and they are continuing to search the missing migrants.
The real information as regards the incident is as follows:
On 30 July 2021 at 01.30 a.m., it was reported by Greek Piraeus Joint Search and Rescue Coordination Center that there was a drafting boat off the coast of Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district/the southeast part of Müsellim Passage/Sivirice Burnu.1 CG boat was dispatched to the mentioned location immediately by Turkish Coast Guard Command and CG Mobile Radar started to search the area. CG boat and CG Mobile Radar continued searching activities by covering the whole area. However; it was detected that there wasn’t any drifting boat or any suspicious activity in Turkish territorial waters.
In the second notification made by Greek authorities on 30 July 2021 at 06.23 a.m., it was claimed that Greek Coast Guard assets conducted search and rescue operation in the northern part of Mytilene Island. They rescued 1 person from the sea in Greek territorial waters. They added that 9 people were rescued by them nearby the half-sunken inflatable boat in Turkish territorial waters and 3 people were missing.
It was detected that the second area notified by Greek authorities was about 1000 yards in Turkish territorial waters in midline of Turkish-Greek territorial waters. Later, 3 additional CG boats were dispatched to the area immediately. As a result of the SAR operation conducted in the area, there wasn’t any survivor or any half-sunken boat found in the area.
SAR operations are still being carried out by Turkish Coast Guard boats in the mentioned area. However; there isn’t any evidence as regards 3 people who were notified to be missing by Greek authorities. Moreover; there isn’t any evidence regarding that 9 people were rescued in Turkish territorial waters by Greek assets.
During the SAR operations conducted and still being carried on in the area by Turkish Coast Guard assets, it was detected that Greek Coast Guard boats and Greek Coast Guard helicopter carried out SAR operations in the northern part of Mytilene Island. When taking into consideration that Greece conducted SAR operations in its territorial waters, it is evaluated that the alleged sinking incident occurred in Greek territorial waters and the statements made by Greek authorities have no basis.
Search and Rescue operations conducted by Turkish Coast Guard Command within the context of fighting against irregular migration on 24/7 basis are shared with public daily in detail on official website of Turkish Coast Guard Command.