Russia’s Bosphorus incident a ‘childish show,’ says Turkish deputy PM

Russia’s Bosphorus incident a ‘childish show,’ says Turkish deputy PM

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Russia’s Bosphorus incident a ‘childish show,’ says Turkish deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş speaks at a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Dec. 7, 2015. AA Photo

The apparent aiming of a shoulder-held missile-launcher at Istanbul by a Russian sailor while passing through the Bosphorus is little more than a “childish show,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Dec. 7.

“We interpreted that image as a show,” Kurtulmuş told a news conference in Ankara after a cabinet meeting.

“There was no need for it. It is apparent from the photo that Turkey’s security was being threatened, although there was not the slightest threat against the Russian ships passing through [the Bosphorus],” he added.

“We wish there were no such incidents. It was a childish show,” Kurtulmuş said. 

The incident, in which a photographer captured a serviceman aboard the Caesar Kunikov landing ship apparently aiming a surface-to-air missile launcher towards Turkey’s largest city, sparked anger.

Earlier on Dec. 7, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu urged Russia to step back from its “provocative” recent stance against Turkey and Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry for an hour-long meeting on the incident on the same day.

Ankara warned the Russian envoy about such “provocative acts,” according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey controls the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles Straits and regulates the passage of warships between the Black and Mediterranean seas.

The convention states that the Bosphorus’ main principle in peace time is freedom of passage.

Relations between Ankara and Moscow are at their tensest since the end of the Cold War after the downing of a Russian warplane on Turkey’s border with Syria over violations of Turkish airspace.