Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos tossed a wreath into the water at the exact spot where a Greek military helicopter went down, killing three members of the Greek Navy, back in 1996 during a crisis over the sovereignty of the Greek islet of Imia, which have also been claimed by Turkey.
If you read Russian or Turkish news reports, however, you’d believe otherwise– that Kammenos and his entourage were chased away by the Turkish Coast Guard.
A video of the incident and the words exchanged between Greek and Turkish naval officers clearly shows the truth– no matter how much “fake news” the Turkish military tries to share with its audiences.
The Russian English language propaganda outlet Sputnik claimed in a story that “Turkish Navy Prevents Greek Defense Chief From Approaching Disputed Islets on Ship.”
Sputnik quoted “the Turkish military department” and also cited sources from the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“On the 28th of January at approximately at 11:30 a.m. a Greek coast guard motorboat and a patrol ship attempted to enter the waters near Kardak Island. The Turkish Naval Forces prevented their attempt to approach this island,” reports the Turkish military department, according to Sputnik.
Turkish news agency Anadolu, citing Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs, reports that the Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos was on board the motorboat.
Kammenos was heading to the islets to lay a wreath there. The Greek vessels left the area after the warning of the Turkish coast guard officers, according to the news website.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement that the coast guard units “did what was necessary,” as quoted by the media outlet.
Numerous Turkish websites and newspapers shared similar news. The Hurriyet Daily News claimed that “Turkey warned Greek minister off Aegean islets.”
The Daily Sabah carried the same “fake news,” claiming that the “Turkish coast guard blocks Greek defense minister from approaching Aegean Kardak islets.”
Even the Chinese agency Xinhua picked up the story and spread the falsehood, claiming that “the Turkish Coast Guard on Sunday blocked Greece’s Defense Minister from approaching disputed islets in the Aegean.”
The problem with fake news is when there’s video evidence showing exactly the opposite of what the Russian and Turkish websites and news organizations– even government ministries claim.
Not only did the Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos drop the wreath where it was intended to be dropped near Imia, but Greek Navy boats refused to budge after Turkey’s Navy tried to “block” the Greek vessels.
Watch the video below, including the tense exchange between Greek and Turkish naval officers.
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