Turkey blocks Greek Defence Minister from approaching Aegean islets

Turkey's Interior Ministry has stated that the Turkish Coast Guard on Sunday blocked Greece's defense minister Panos Kammenos from approaching a pair of islets in the Aegean Sea.

The Greek Defence Minister was "warned off" by the Coast Guard officials, reported the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Kammenos was heading to the Kardak [Imia] islets in the naval vessel Nikiforos for the wreath-laying ceremony to remember three military personnel who died in a helicopter crash during the 1996 Imia crisis with Turkey, according to the reports.

The coast guard units "did what was necessary," Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, in a statement.

Imia in 1996 was the scene of a tense standoff between Athens and Ankara which almost lead to a full-scale war between the two NATO allies over sovereignty issues in the Aegean.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)