Greece and Turkey at odds over border shooting

Ankara summons Greek envoy after Turkish man shot dead

Police officers patrol the delta of Evros river, near Alexandroupoli, along the Greek-Turkish border, on June 8, 2021. The area is where the Greek State has chosen to deploy a new anti-migration arsenal including cameras, radar and a 40-kilometre (25-mile) steel fence over five metres high. / AFP / Sakis MITROLIDIS

Tensions between Greece and Turkey have grown after a Turkish man was shot dead near the Greek border.

Mehmet Durgun, 43, was killed on Saturday night, allegedly from cross border fire by individuals wearing civilian clothes.

The incident took place in Turkey’s north-western Edirne province near the Evros river, a natural border between the two countries.

The Greek charge d’affaires in Ankara was summoned by Turkey’s foreign ministry to explain the situation and asked to ensure that the aggressors were arrested.

But Greece’s foreign ministry said it “rejected in their entirety the Turkish claims regarding an alleged incident in Evros”.

Its charge d’affaires “pointed out to the Turkish side the obligation of the latter to guard its borders and not allow human trafficking and illegal migration”.

Turkish state media reported that Mr Durgun and 60-year-old Suleyman Sener were sitting on the banks of the Evros river, also known as the Meric river, late on Saturday. The former died at the scene after being shot in the head. The latter alerted local authorities.

Already tense, Greece-Turkey relations plummeted to new depths last year amid a standoff over oil and gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and military exercises.

While tensions have eased to some extent, high-level meetings in 2021 have failed to make much headway.

The EU has sought to strengthen its strained ties with Turkey, but divisions remain over a raft of policies, including migration and freedom of movement.

Updated: August 2nd 2021, 10:48 AM