The Greek government has issued a demarche to Ankara in protest over “the issue at a point of southern Evros the occasion of the change of the riverbed”. Diplomatic sources told the media on Friday that a protest had been submitted, however they did not mention what the “issue” was.

Local media reports that the incident in question involves a group of Turkish soldiers who occupied a small piece of land on the east bank of the Evros River in Melissokomeio, near the village of Ferres. Two weeks ago, the men – five members of the military police and ten from the army – set up a tent and hoisted a Turkish flag on a nearby tree. They take shifts guarding their tent and have rejected Greek demands to leave the area.

Armyvoice reports that the Turkish side claims that it is Turkish territory and has ruled out discussion on the incident.

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that there was no need to create tension for “a few dozen metres” of land, and avoided using the word occupation.

He said that Greece hopes to reach an understanding. “There is a matter of a dispute of the exact border, due to changes in the river’s banks,” he told state radio station ERA FM on Wednesday. “The appropriate measurements can be made and these things can be resolved in a joint committee. We’re talking about a few dozen meters.”