Turkish FM defines Russian soldier’s position as provocative

Turkish foreign minister says Russian soldier carrying missile on his shoulder as passing through Bosphorus on Russian warship is 'provocative'

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to reporters about the Bosphorus incident in the southern Turkish province of Antalya on December 6, 2015

Updated Dec 7, 2015

Speaking after a meeting with Russian citizens living in Turkey’s southern Antalya province, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Sunday that a Russian warship’s passing the Bosphorus with a Russian soldier carrying a missile on his shoulder was “provocative” and “harassing.”

“The passing is provocative and harassing...Russian fighter jet’s violating Turkish airspace is quite different from Russian warship’s passing through Bosphorus,” said Cavusoglu.

“We hope this incident is a one-time event, because it is not a right approach," he added.

A Russian soldier was photographed on Saturday carrying a  -man-portable air-defense system- MANPAD on his shoulder while passing through Bosphorus on the Russian warship, Tsezar Kunikov.

Referring to the incident, Cavusoglu said that if Turkey perceived any threat, it would react appropriately.

“Dialogue needs to continue”

Cavusoglu stated that he believes the two countries would resolve the high tension which Turkey had never wanted to have, emphasizing on the importance of engaging in dialogue.

He said, “The dialogue between Russia and Turkey should continue in order to achieve this,” during his speech to Russian citizens living in Antalya.

“We had a useful meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Belgrade. We have different point of views, but we should continue our talks in order to reduce these differences.”

Addressing Russians, he also touched upon the impact of the high tension on the people. He said “We always welcome you, our friends, like our guests, but we can not show tolerance to jets that violate our airspace, we should respect our boundaries.”

“The problems between countries would be solved one day, however the unrest and fear among our people might remain for a long time,” he said.

“Therefore, all of us should act carefully.”

The tensions between Russia and Turkey has escalated amid downed Russian warplane after it violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on Nov. 24 incident caused great tension between Turkey and Russia.

On Saturday, Turkey stopped four Russian cargo ships at its Black Sea port of Samsun, due to “lack of papers,” after Port State Controle (PSC) inspections.

Later in the day, three of the Russian ships were allowed to leave the port after they secured and completed the missing papers. One of them, M/V Crystal, is still waiting at the port.

Also last week, Russia stopped five Turkish-flagged ships at the Russian port of Novorossiysk.

TRTWorld and agencies