Turkey Warns Russia After Moscow Attacks Turkish Vessel In Black Sea

Turkey’s authorities warned Russia’s counterparts after an incident involving a cargo vessel in the Black Sea that took place in international waters, per Reuters, citing a statement published by Turkey’s presidency on X, previously known as Twitter, on Thursday.

Following this incident with the vessel, counterparts from Russia were warned appropriately to avoid such attempts that can escalate more tensions in the Black Sea region, the presidency stated.

Turkey Warns Russia After Moscow Attacked Turkish Vessel In Black Sea 1
@Capt_Navy Twitter

The post, however, appears to have been removed.

On Sunday, Russia further mentioned in its statement that its patrol vessel — Vasily Bykov — fired automatic weapons on a Palau-flagged vessel Sukru Okan (titled after Turkey’s politician and admiral Şükrü Okan, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s supporter) after the captain of the ship failed to respond to a request to pause for an examination.

Using good rapport with Kyiv and Moscow, Turkey brokered a UN-backed deal for lifting the blockade on Ukraine’s grain export imposed by Russia’s navy.

However, the agreement collapsed around mid-July 2023 when the Kremlin refused to renew it. Russia has further threatened to treat all vessels that head toward Ukraine’s ports as carrying weapons.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s President, was vehemently criticized at home for failing to react to Russia’s provocation. Still, his office responded by stating that it was up to Palau to react to the matter.

Even if the owner of the Sukru Okan vessel is from Turkey, the ship is not Turkish-flagged. Per international law, it’s the flag state that’s more essential than the name of the ship or the nationality of crew members; the office reportedly defended Erdoğan.

Palau is a Pacific island nation, the flag of which is used by shipping firms to access international ports freely. Such a practice is famous as a “flag of convenience”. Panama was the most popular convenience country per 2022 reports, with 8,025 vessels registered. Palau was the 19th, with 304 ships registered, behind the landlocked Mongolia (314 vessels registered).

References: Hindustan Times, Alarabiya News, TVP World

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