Turkey recalled its EU, Italy, and Germany envoys

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Turkey recalled the envoys to Ankara of the European Union, Italy, and Germany on Monday for protesting about a German try to search a Turkish cargo vessel for a suspected arms shipment to Libya.

The ministry related in its statement that the German warship Hamburg, as part of this operation, hailed and interrogated in detail the Turkish-flagged commercial vessel M/V Roseline A, which was transporting paint, paint-related material and humanitarian aid from the Port of Ambarlı to Misrata.

The ministry also added: We deeply regret that our vessel, which as became apparent has not violated the arms embargo, was withheld from her route for hours under severe weather conditions and that during the inspection the crew were treated as if they were criminals. We protest this unauthorized and forceful act.

It also said: Rights to compensation of the relevant natural and legal persons for the damages and losses that may arise from this act naturally remain reserved. It is essential to obtain flag state consent before interfering with commercial ships in international waters. UN Security Council resolutions on the Libyan arms embargo do not overrule this obligation.

Germany previously accused Turkey of stopping German forces belonging to an EU military mission from entirely searching the vessel. The German Defense Ministry declared that soldiers from the frigate Hamburg, which is a part of an EU mission enforcing a UN arms embargo, climbed the Roseline A overnight; however, they were withdrawn after that Turkey provoked disagreements with the EU mission that had have the order of the search.

Turkey published footage showing armed men in military uniform leading sailors with their hands on their heads on the bridge of what it stated it was the Roseline A, at sea southwest of the Greek Peloponnese peninsula.

Indeed, this incident comes amid tension friction between Turkey and the European Union. On his part, the EU’s foreign policy chief reported that relations are reaching a watershed moment over Turkish oil prospecting in waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus, and that sanctions could be imposed next month.

Germany also related that after four hours without any reply to the board’s request, it was usual to consider this as implicit permission. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman explained: All procedures were followed correctly.

Whereas, the German Defense Ministry affirmed that the soldiers had not found anything suspicious by the time they were ordered off the ship.

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