Turkey stops German authorities from searching ship for weapons

German authorities prevented from searching Turkish ship suspected of carrying weapons to Libya

The German Navy frigate Hamburg at sea. [Photo: U.S. Navy /Andrew Schneider]
The German Defense Ministry stated that soldiers from the frigate Hamburg boarded the Turkish freighter, the Rosaline A, overnight but were forced to abandon their mission of checking the ships for weapons after Turkey protested to the EU mission. 

Turkish sources reported that the ship was carrying various humanitarian aid items such as food, paint and clothes and that the German forces operating in the Mediterranean as part of the EU’s Irini mission, were in violation of international law by not waiting for permission from Turkey.

The German spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, Der Spiegel, stated that the German forces of the Hamburg followed standardized procedure by waiting four hours for approval from the flag country, and then boarding the cargo ship to search it. Then, later on, followed orders when objections arrived and retreated from the vessel.

“All procedures were followed correctly,” Said the German spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense. “By the time the soldiers left the ship, they had not found anything suspicious,”

The 16,000-ton container ship left the Turkish port of Gemlik near Bursa last week and was intercepted about 200 km (125 miles) north of the Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday night by the German frigate as part of the EU’s Irini mission, which aims impose an arms embargo on Libya and stop weapons from the country’s shores.

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