Turkish captain denies Libya warned ship before attack
AA PhotoThe second captain of a Turkish cargo ship, which was attacked off Libya on May 10, has said Libyan authorities had only “warned us with a bomb” during the attack.
The Cook Islands-flagged ship named “Tuna-1” was approaching Tobruk to deliver cargo taken from Spain when it was attacked from land and air late on May 10 in international waters, 13 miles from the Libyan port. Its third officer was killed and several other crew members were wounded in the attack.
A Libyan military spokesman had told Reuters on May 11 that the Turkish vessel was bombed “after it was warned not to approach the Libyan city of Derna.”
The damaged ship arrived in the southwestern Turkish province of Muğla on May 12, according to Doğan News Agency. Zafer Kalaycı, the second captain who was wounded in the attack, told journalists after he testified to police that they were not warned before the attack took place.
“I was on duty. They gave no warning whatsoever. What they mean by warning is probably the first bomb,” he said.
According to Kalaycı, the ship was attacked for a second time from the air even though it had already distanced itself from the Libyan coast, some 12-13 miles away.
“While we were gathering the crew in the back of the ship with our third captain, bombs hit us. When we took cover and fled inside, he found himself in the middle of bombs and shrapnel,” he said. “We practiced a blackout on the ship and silently moved toward Crete to save ourselves,” he added.
After sending a protest note over the incident, Ankara called for a speedy political settlement to the Libyan problem on May 12.
Abdullah al-Thinni, the prime minister of the internationally-recognized Libyan interim government in Tobruk, earlier accused Turkey of interfering in the domestic affairs of Libya and warned that the government could put an end to Turkish companies’ investments in the country.