Ankara Angry at Ambassadors After Aquatic Argument
The ongoing tiff between Turkey and the European Union hit a new and dangerous low on Monday, as Ankara summoned the Italian, German and EU ambassadors for an official talking-to after an earlier Mediterranean Sea incident threatened to turn into open conflict. Turkey accused German naval forces of unlawfully boarding one of its vessels bound for Libya and conducting an “unauthorized” search. German officials explained, however, that the check was part of the EU’s ongoing Operation Irini, meant to enforce a United Nations arms embargo on the war-torn African nation. Germany’s defense ministry also claimed its troops sought and waited for permission to board the suspicious ship for several hours before proceeding according to protocol and starting their search. Tensions between Turkey and Europe have grown ever higher in recent weeks, as the international community has repeatedly condemned Ankara’s aggressive gas surveys in Greece’s territorial waters, along with its deployment of mercenary troops to Libya.