Turkey summons EU envoys to protest interception, search of Libya-bound Turkish vessel

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned envoys of the European Union and Italy along with the charge d’affaires of Germany to protest the interception of a Libya-bound Turkey-flagged ship by an EU mission.

The summoned diplomats met with Turkish Deputy Minister Sedat Onal at the ministry, according to a written ministry statement.

“The incident of embarking and inspecting our merchant ship Roseline-A, which was within the framework of Operation Irini, without the permission of our country, was protested and the relevant countries were given a note,” said the ministry.

“The incident is against international law and our compensation rights are also preserved,” Turkey said in the diplomatic note, according to the statement.

Operation Irini was launched by the EU Naval Force in the Mediterranean on March 31 with the main aim to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya.

Earlier, the German Defense Ministry said the Turkish side forced the German personnel to leave the ship before they finished their work.

During the search, Germany found no cargo that contravened the arms embargo, German Defense Ministry spokesman Christian Thiels told reporters in Berlin.

In Libya, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the rival east-based army had been engaged in deadly armed conflict over control of the capital Tripoli until the GNA announced its full takeover of the capital in early June.

As a supporter of the GNA both politically and militarily, Turkey deployed troops in Libya to train and advise forces loyal to the GNA.