Cyprus protests Turkish warship's arrest of fishing boat

September 21, 2018 - 12:11 pm

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus is trying to secure the release of five fishermen who were taken into custody by a Turkish warship as they were fishing off the northern coast of the ethnically divided Mediterranean island nation.

Cyprus government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said authorities have protested the arrest with the U.N. peacekeeping force stationed in Cyprus. U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique said the U.N. is trying to "resolve this situation, which is regrettable."

Cyprus Foreign Ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel said the owner of the Cyprus-flagged fishing boat told authorities that a Turkish warship approached his vessel 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the island's northwestern coast on Friday evening.

The one Greek Cypriot and four Egyptian fishermen on board were then arrested and the boat was towed to a harbor in the country's breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.