M/F Ankara Is Heading To Benghazi Again

According to AIS transponder data the ferry M/V Ankara has left Çeşme port for a trip to Benghazi, shortly after midnight on 9 April 2011.

The ferry was converted to a  makeshift hospital ship and evacuated 250 wounded Libyans from Misurata and Bengazi last week.

This will her second trip to Libya as a hospital ship. She was involved in the evacuation of Turkish citizens from Libya in February with her sister ships TCG Iskenderun and M/V Samsun. While M/V Samsun stayed in the regions and evacuated Egyptians from Libya, M/V Ankara returned to Turkey to be converted to a temporary hospital ship.

The timing of this trip is interesting. This week the Turkish consulate in Bengazi was attacked by Libyans protesters and a Turkish aid ship was denied into entering the harbor. The reason for this outrage of Libyan rebels is the statement of Turkish prime minister Erdoğan,  who said last week that NATO’s mission was not to arm the rebels, but protect them.

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