Akar suspects mines in Black Sea released ‘intentionally’
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has expressed suspicion over the possibility of intentionally leaving mines in the Black Sea in a bid to pave the way for NATO minesweepers to enter these waters.
Addressing the members of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) at a meeting last week, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, “We have doubts as to whether the mines were left intentionally. Maybe these mines were left within a plan for NATO minesweepers to enter the Black Sea.”
Akar’s presentation at the party meeting included important information on the developments in the defense industry and the Ukraine war, the daily Hürriyet reported on April 10.
The minister said that the possible plan might be aimed to put pressure on Turkey, but Ankara is determined to comply with the requirements of the Montreux Convention, the daily reported referring to anonymous sources.
“We do not know who left the mines in the Black Sea. They are Russian-made, but the issue of which country left it is under investigation. There are reports that there are around 400 mines. We talked to the Bulgarian and Romanian authorities. They also carry out monitoring,” Akar stated.
Some say that maybe the mines were left in the Black Sea within a plan for NATO minesweepers to enter the Black Sea to put pressure on Turkey, Akar said.
“But we will abide by the Montreux rules. We will not let warships into the Black Sea. We will not allow the Black Sea to be drawn into the war,” he told the party members.
The minister also emphasized that these mines normally lock themselves when they break from the rope, but Turkey observed that such a system did not exist in the mines which the Turkish military destroyed. “So it could have been left like that on purpose. We are investigating,” he added.