Turkish owned ship was en route to Tobruk with declared cargo: spokesperson
AA PhotoA Turkish cargo ship, which was attacked by the Libyan military off the Libya coast on May 10, was en route to the port in Tobruk with proven documents and carrying declared cargo, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has said, dismissing allegations that the vessel had been carrying weapons and approaching the city of Derna in Libya.
Statements by the Tobruk government aimed to justify the attack, an approach which was “unacceptable,” he said. “The attack on civilian ships from land and ground under the cover of the fight against terrorism is unacceptable,” Bilgiç said, speaking at a press conference on May 15.
The ship was attacked while steering “in the shortest way” to the port in Tobruk, he said. There were documents “taken while the ship was leaving Spain with regards that the vessel’s final ports were respectively Tobruk and Beirut. Allegations that the ship was en route to some other port are not true,” he said.
An examination of the vessel when it arrived in southern Fethiye showed it had been carrying sheetrock cargo, as declared, and no other cargo was found, the spokesperson said.
The third officer on the Cook Islands-chartered Tuna-1 vessel died in what Turkey described as a “contemptible attack,” while other crew members were wounded in the attack.
Forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized government said on May 10 they had shelled a Turkish ship off the Libyan coast after it was warned not to approach.
The dry cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi said.