Evros River incident

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Evros River incident
Part of Greece-Turkey relations
Map of the Evros River, along the Greece-Turkey border
DateDecember 19, 1986
Greece: near Feres, Evros River, Greece
Turkey: Ipsala township in western Edirne Province, Turkey
Result Ceasefire
 Greece  Turkey
Commanders and leaders
Zissis Karagogos   ?
Units involved
Hellenic Army Turkish Army
Casualties and losses
1 killed
1 wounded
2 killed

On 19 December 1986, Greek and Turkish soldiers clashed near the town of Feres along the Evros river.[1]

The incident began at 11:15 a.m, when a 3-man Greek Army patrol, guarding the border against the passage of Iranian refugees, met with a Turkish Armed Forces patrol along the Evros river border. The Greek party met with the Turkish, and Greek soldier, Zissis Karagogos, met with one of the Turkish soldiers who offered to trade cigarettes. The Greek soldier set down his rifle and helmet and as he moved closer, he was fatally shot by a Turkish soldier lying in wait. This sparked a fire-fight between both parties that killed two Turkish soldiers, Lt. Hakan Turkyilmaz and Pvt. Mehmet Kalyon, and wounded a Greek soldier, Dimitris Karayannis.[2][3]

In response to the death of one of its soldiers, the Greek defense ministry demanded an apology and compensation. In the end, both sides deemed the exchange a "local one" and did not escalate the situation.

Turkish and Greek soldiers have exchanged fire in the past as Greeks tried to stop Iranian refugees from entering the country illegally from Turkey, but this incident was the first in which there have been casualties. During this period Greek soldiers along the border with Turkey were on alert after receiving reports that Turkey planned to help thousands of refugees slip into Greece illegally.[4]

See also[edit]

  • 1987 Aegean crisis - border dispute between Greece and Turkey the next year that almost escalated into an all-out war.


  1. ^ "Greece demands apology, compensation for soldier's death". UPI. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  2. ^ "Three Killed in Border Clash". www.apnewsarchive.com. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  3. ^ "Greece demands apology, compensation for soldier's death". UPI. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  4. ^ United Press International Greeks, Turks exchange fire, no casualties