After the Russian military attacked a cargo ship owned by Turkey last weekend, Ankara advised Moscow to avoid further escalation, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office.
The Turkish presidency broke its days-long silence over the event by stating, “After the (Russian) intervention, our interlocutors in the Russian Federation were correctly advised to avoid such initiatives, which raise tensions in the Black Sea.
When the Russian navy opened fire on the Sukru Okan vessel last Sunday, it was flying the flag of Palau. After conducting an inspection, Russian military personnel boarded the ship and permitted it to continue sailing toward the Ukrainian port of Izmail, which serves as the primary export route for Ukrainian agricultural goods.
The incident took place during a spike in attacks in the Black Sea region that followed Russia’s choice to leave a significant grain deal with Ukraine last month. Utilizing its favorable relations with Moscow and Kiev, Turkey assisted in negotiating the UN-backed accord, which was the only significant settlement the opposing forces were able to reach during the war.
However, Erdogan’s office received flak at home for making no mention of the Russian attack. On Thursday, Erdogan’s office responded to critics by asserting that it was Palau’s legal responsibility to address the situation. Even if the Sukru Okan vessel’s owner is Turkish, the ship does not fly the Turkish flag, as stated.
The “flag state” is more significant in international law than the ship’s name or the character of its crew. Shipping companies frequently fly the flag of the Pacific archipelago of Palau to gain unrestricted access to foreign ports.