23:40 GMT15 January 2021
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    Turkish news agency Anadolu reported earlier Friday that Ankara had launched a criminal case over the inspection of its cargo ship in the Mediterranean by the European Union's naval mission Irini, which is responsible for monitoring the international embargo on arms supplies to Libya.

    People gathered in front of the German Embassy in Ankara, on Friday to protest against the recent search operation on board the Turkish Rosaline A, a cargo ship which was held by the team of a German frigate which is working for the EU's Irini operation in the Mediterranean Sea. 

    The protest was organised by activists of the youth wing of the non-governmental left-nationalist party Vatan (the Motherland). 

    Members of the Vatan (Patriotic) Party gather near the German Embassy to protest against German soldiers boarding and searching a Turkish vessel on behalf of an EU military mission in the Mediterranean Sea, in Ankara, Turkey November 27, 2020
    © Sputnik / Turan Salcı
    Members of the Vatan (Patriotic) Party gather near the German Embassy to protest against German soldiers boarding and searching a Turkish vessel on behalf of an EU military mission in the Mediterranean Sea, in Ankara, Turkey November 27, 2020

    The protesters were holding banners reading "Do not imitate the United States, do not become a pirate of the Atlantic!" and banners with the EU flag and skull and bones depicted on it.

    © Sputnik / Turan Salcı
    Members of the Vatan (Patriotic) Party gather near the German Embassy to protest against German soldiers boarding and searching a Turkish vessel on behalf of an EU military mission in the Mediterranean Sea, in Ankara, Turkey November 27, 2020

    The party's secretary-general, Ferdi Tanhan, has issued a press statement accusing Germany and other EU countries of conducting an operation against Turkey.

    Members of the Vatan (Patriotic) Party gather near the German Embassy to protest against German soldiers boarding and searching a Turkish vessel on behalf of an EU military mission in the Mediterranean Sea, in Ankara, Turkey November 27, 2020
    © Sputnik / Turan Salcı
    Members of the Vatan (Patriotic) Party gather near the German Embassy to protest against German soldiers boarding and searching a Turkish vessel on behalf of an EU military mission in the Mediterranean Sea, in Ankara, Turkey November 27, 2020

    The official has called the EU's actions "an attempt at occupation" and "a violation of international law".

    "The name and flag of the EU must be changed after the incident. From now on, it is not the European Union, but the Union of European Pirates. We brought its flag with us. The skull and bones against the background of the stars symbolise the decline and decay of Europe. Congratulations on the new flag and the new name," he stated.

    Tanhan has expressed a desire to hold drills with the fleets of Russia, China and Iran in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Turkish-flagged freighter Roseline-A was stopped for inspection by the German warship Hamburg in the Mediterranean on its way to Libya on Monday. Footage was released on the internet showing German servicemen storming a ship compartment loaded with weapons.

    Turkey denied that the ship was carrying weapons and fired back by claiming that the search was unauthorised and, therefore, illegal.

    Operation Irini was established on 31 March to monitor the Libyan arms embargo but ended up attracting severe criticism over its failure to accomplish the task. 

    Tags:
    vessel, EU, protest, embassy, Turkey
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