It has been a week of extraordinary tension between Greece and Turkey, following an incident in the South-East Aegean on Monday, when a Turkish patrol boat rammed a Greek one patrolling the area. 

Following up on a heated exchange of words between the two countries’ respective ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras made a harsh statement on Sunday, warning Turkey that his country is not playing games. 

“Greece is not going to allow any challenge of its territorial integrity and its sovereign rights,” Alexis Tsipras said, affirming Greece’s stance as is  “a pillar of stability and security in unstable region”. 

The Greek PM called for all countries in the area to show “absolute respect for international law and the principles of good neighbourliness, peaceful coexistence and regional co-operation.”  

His comments followed a visit to the Ministry for Shipping where he met the captain and crew of the vessel that was rammed by the Turkish patrol boat. “You kept calm and keeping calm is bravery,” he told the captain of the Offshore Patrol Boat (OPV) Gavdos.