A Greek coast guard ship allegedly attempted to sink an inflatable raft brimming with Syrian refugees in the Aegean sea, according to a video released by the Turkish Institute of Public Diplomacy on Friday (November 20).
The video, shot by the Turkish coast guard on November 12, purportedly shows a man on board of a ship bearing Greek coast guard livery attempting to strike a raft with a long pole or lance when the refugees came alongside the vessel.
Later the refugees are seen in a half-sunken raft waving hands to Turkish coast guards and waiting to be rescued. The Turkish vessel took them aboard.
There were 58 Syrian refugees on board the raft including children, according to Turkish media.
Media reports say the video was also shown to the head of Greek coast guard, Vice Admiral Athanasios Athanasopoulos, during a high-level meeting on the plight of refugees in Ankara on Wednesday (November 18). Athanasopoulos was accompanying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was in Turkey to attend a friendly soccer game between the two countries and discuss the migrant crisis plaguing the Mediterranean. Greek authorities were not immediately available for comment.
About 650,000 refugees and migrants fleeing war and poverty have reached the EU through Greece so far this year with many risking their lives by sea. Thousands have drowned.