>The Undersecreteriat for Maritime Affairs forbids Turkish flagged Ships to Join Russian Convoys in Gulf of Aden

>The Undersecreteriat for Maritime Affairs (UMA) issued a declaration forbidding Turkish flagged ships to join convoys organized by Russian Federation in Gulf of Aden.

Previously, in December the UMA announced that Turkish flagged ships may join to convoys organized by Russian Service of Federal Agency of Maritime and River Transportation and protected by Russian warship Admiral Chabanenko.

The first Turkish flagged merchant ship informed TCG Gökova after leaving IRTC, that Admiral Chabanenko appointed 3-5 men security teams on board of the ships that volunteer to join Russian convoys. It was mandatory for the merchant ships to accept the armed security team on board if the wished to participate the Russian convoy. These teams stayed on board during the transit in the IRTC and left ship when the end of IRTC was reached.

After this new information about convoys organized by Russian Federation was forwarded to UMA send a statement to ship owners, operators, captains and agents informing that any Turkish flagged ship is considered as a part of Turkish soil and only Turkish Parliament had the right to invite foreign armed forces to Turkish land.

In its statement UMA reminded that any captain of a Turkish flagged ship, joining a Russian convoys and accepting Russian armed security teams on board may face prosecution.

UMA advised the captains not to take part in Russian convoys if Russian Navy continues to put armed security teams on board of merchant ships and to prefer other convoys if necessary.

On the legal standpoint UMA is right. But on the practical level the warning and the advice they have given is doubtful. This decision of UMA may put ships suspect to pirate attacks waiting for a non Russian convoy to start. Turkish owned ships operating under the flags of convenience are exempt from the prohibition of UMA.

Currenty there are no prohibitions for Turkish ships to join other convoys operated by China, India, South Korea and Japan.

Here is the official text of UMA’s statement.

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