Turkish coast guard harasses Cypriot fishing boat

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A Cypriot fishing boat was stopped and boarded by the Turkish coast guard while trying to fish in international waters.

The boat belongs to the Psarokaika company, its owner Aristos Aristidou told CNA the Turkish coast guard damaged the boat’s electronics.

The Cypriot boat was fishing 20 nautical miles off the coast of Apostolos Andreas in international waters on Tuesday when it was stopped by a Turkish coast guard vessel at around 1430.

An inflatable boat approached it, and eight Turkish officials boarded the Cypriot fishing boat.

The Turkish policemen interrogated the Cypriot crew and Aristidou on the number of antennas on the fishing boat.

They also checked the boat’s cable system and placed plugs, causing damage to three of the nine systems.

At around 2030, they were allowed to leave after the Turkish police drew a two-kilometre line from Dherynia on a map and claimed it was the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone which should not be violated.

The same boat had tried to fish in international waters north of Turkish occupied Apostolos Andreas three years ago and was again harassed by Turkish police.

Another fishing boat was confiscated, and its five-member crew arrested in September 2018.