ISTANBUL Turkey accused Russia of a “provocation” on Sunday soon after a serviceman on the deck of a Russian naval ship allegedly held a rocket launcher on his shoulder although the vessel passed via Istanbul.
Relations have deteriorated sharply because Turkey last week became the very first NATO member in more than half a century to down a Russian plane, which it stated had violated its airspace even though flying sorties over Syria. The pilot was killed.
The NTV news channel broadcast photographs that it mentioned showed a serviceman brandishing a rocket launcher on the deck of the landing ship Caesar Kunikov as it passed on Saturday by way of the Bosphorus Strait, which bisects the city of Istanbul. It stated the ship was believed to be en route to Syria.
“For a Russian soldier to display a rocket launcher or anything equivalent although passing on a Russian warship is a provocation,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters, according to the Hurriyet news website. “If we perceive a threatening circumstance, we will give the necessary response.”
The Bosphorus gives the only passage to the world’s oceans for the Russian Black Sea fleet. A Globe War One-era treaty obliges Turkey to permit all ships to pass during peacetime.
Turkey had regarded Russia a strategic companion as its principal energy supplier, regardless of deep differences more than Syria. But given that Turkey shot the plane down, Moscow has introduced financial sanctions including a ban on Turkish foods and other products worth as considerably as $ 1 billion.NTV stated 3 NATO frigates with Canadian, Spanish and Portuguese flags had been moored in Istanbul as the Caesar Kunikov passed through.
(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley Editing by Kevin Liffey)