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[News] New Turkish refusal to inspect a ship en route to Libya

(Photo: MOD Türkiye)

(B2) Turkey refused yesterday (Tuesday October 31) to authorize the inspection of a ship marchnd flying its flag by the European military, responsible for monitoring the international arms embargo on Libya.

A container ship bound for Misrata

The military of the EU maritime operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI) wanted to inspect le MV Kosovak, flying the Turkish flag. A container ship left Ambarli on the night of the 30th to the 31st towards Misrata (where it should arrive on November 2 according to maritime trackers). He is suspected by Europeans of transporting materials prohibited by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2292 (see box).

The 11th refusal

It is not a surprise. Turkey routinely refuses consent in the event of proven suspicion. It's even " the eleventh time that Turkey refuses its consent » we specify at the HQ of the European operation in Rome!

The operation — commanded by Italian Rear Admiral Stefano Turchetto and at sea by Greek Commodore Konstantinos Bakalakos — currently has three ships: the Italian frigate ITS Grecale (F-571), the French frigate FS Commander Ducuing (F-795) and the Greek frigate HS Aegean (F-460) which serves as the flagship. It also benefits from the contribution of half a dozen surveillance aircraft (Greek Embraer 145, Polish Antonov 28B1 Bryza, German P3C Orion, French Atlantique 2 or Falcon 50 and Beechcraft King Air 350 from DAE Aviation chartered by Luxembourg) , as well as Italian Predator drones, which take turns in the air.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Inspections not entirely due to chance

Unlike requests for information which are regular on ships in the Mediterranean, made randomly, generally by radio, inspections are rarer and triggered on the basis of information. Information obtained by different means, in particular via surveillance carried out by EUNAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft or the analysis of satellite images.

In September 2023, the EUNAVFOR Med Irini operation thus made requests for information (hailings) on 338 merchant ships (11863 in total since the start of the operation) but carried out 8 "friendly" visits (friendly approaches) on ships with the agreement of captains or the flag State (563 in total since the start of the operation). In total, only 26 boardings took place.

Note also that no fewer than 2426 satellite images were analyzed on behalf of the operation by SatCen (the EU satellite center). And that on the 26 collisions (boarding) of ships, only three were diverted to seize prohibited goods (1 with military oil, 2 with military equipment).

Correction: this is the company DEA aviation (and not CAE as originally marked) and the frigate Grecale (and not Frecale as indicated by mistake)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

2 thoughts on “[News] New Turkish refusal to inspect a ship en route to Libya"

  • ITS Frecale (F-571) vs ITS Grecale (F-571)

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