The Turkish judiciary has started investigations into the Federal Armed Forces deployment on a Turkish container ship. The state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu quoted the chief public prosecutor in Ankara as saying that the freighter was searched against international law.
The inspection of the Turkish ship by the Bundeswehr took place last Sunday as part of the EU operation “Irini” and triggered outrage and protests by the government in Ankara. Turkey judged the use of soldiers from NATO partner Germany to be illegal and accused the German government and the EU of unauthorized use of force.
The mission command announced, however, that there were sufficient reasons to believe that the controlled ship could violate the UN arms embargo against Libya. The German soldiers proceeded in a highly professional manner and inspected the ship in accordance with internationally agreed procedures that are customary in NATO.
According to SPIEGEL information, the military had much more specific evidence of illegal arms smuggling than previously known. According to this, analysts from the EU mission »Irini«, which is supposed to prevent arms deliveries across the Mediterranean Sea to Libya, identified on satellite images of the ship’s previous port stay in Misurata, Libya, that armored military vehicles had been unloaded.
During the recent port visit of the “Roseline A” in the Turkish port of Ambarli in November, surveillance images revealed that suspicious goods had been brought on board again. Thereupon the leadership of the “Irini” mission decided to have the ship checked.