A German Navy mission is arousing the Turkish press – and creating tension at the diplomatic level. But the Secretary of Defense justifies the procedure.
The chancellor with a pirate hat, coat and sword: that’s how the Turkish opposition newspaper “Sözcü” portrayed Angela Merkel this Tuesday. Below it it says: “German Chancellor Merkel is silent about piracy.” The newspaper’s title was in German: “Deutsche Piraterie”. The pro-government newspaper “Yeni Safak” was headlined: “Piracy in the Mediterranean”.
We are pirates to the Turkish media because the German frigate stopped a Turkish cargo ship in the Mediterranean on its way to Libya. Reason: suspected illegal arms deliveries #EU pic.twitter.com/UqdtYyqCyv
– elmas topcu (@TopcuElmas) November 24, 2020
background the scandal surrounding the search for a Turkish freighter. German marines boarded the Turkish ship on Sunday evening to check the UN arms embargo on Libya. The soldiers wanted to check the cargo, but had to abort the operation, according to the operational command, because the Turkish side had objected.
Kramp-Karrenbauer defends the mission
Turkey considers control of the cargo ship illegal and, according to the state news agency Anadolu, sued the charge d’affaires of the German embassy on Monday. The ambassadors of Italy and the European Union would also have been summoned because of the incident.
According to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, they received a diplomatic note making it clear that the action was in violation of international law and that Turkey reserved the right to compensation. There was initially no official confirmation of the appointment.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has since defended control. “The Bundeswehr soldiers (have) behaved perfectly correctly,” the CDU leader said Tuesday at a foreign policy forum organized by the Körber Foundation in Berlin. “They have done what is expected of them under the European mandate ‘Irini’.” The “Irini” mission is to stop arms deliveries to Libya, a country in civil war. Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed, “There is no reason for these charges now being made against the soldiers.”