Turkey condemns Russian sailor act

A photographer captured a Russian sailor aboard the Caesar Kunikov landing ship –passing through the Bosphorus- apparently aiming the surface-to-air missile launcher towards Istanbul city, caused outrage.

The incident took place as tensions between Turkey and Russia are at their highest since the end of the Cold War following the downing of a Russian warplane over southern Turkey, despite repeated warnings not to violate Turkish airspace.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan KurtulmuÅŸ described the act as a childish show and said that there was no need for it.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt ÇavuÅŸoÄŸlu urged Russia to step back from its “provocative” stance towards Turkey, and Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov was asked by the Turkish Foreign Ministry for an explanation if the missile accident was an individual act or a planned one on behalf of the Russian military.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey controls the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles Straits and regulates the passage of warships between the Black and Mediterranean seas.