Ukraine Completes Its Evacuation From Libya

Exactly at midnight of 23th March 2011, the Ukrainian Ropucha 1 class landing ship U-402 Konstantin Olshansky, departed  from  Sevastopol to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation of Ukrainian citizens trapped in Libya.

She has passed through Bosphorus on 24 March 2011 early in the morning and left Turkish territorial waters late at night. She spent a few days off the coast of Libya, while diplomatic arrangements for the evacuation being done.

She docked in Tripoli on 3. April and picked up 210 evacuees. 129 are Ukrainian citizens and 81 are from Belarus, Libya, U.S., UK, Russia, Serbia , Moldova, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Romania , Malta, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Italy and Tajikistan.

Currently she is heading to Malta.

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya


Official Turkish General Staff Graphic

Turkish General Staff  made a detailed announcement about protection provided by Turkish Armed Forces to the Ferry M/F Ankara during her humanitarian trip to Libya.


On sea MEKO 200 class frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım escorted the ferry M/F Ankara. TCG Yıldırım is one of the four frigates Turkey has assigned to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

For the period that  M/F Ankara was docked in Misurata, air cover was provided by 12 F-16 fighter planes from bases Bandırma and Dalaman. These planes flew a distance of 1330 km (730 NM) in round-trip. 4 KC-135R tanker planes supported the operation by providing fuel for the fighter planes.

There was no immediate air cover when M/F Akara was evacuating wounded  Libyans in Benghazi as there is no on going fighting around this city. But 2 F-16 fighter planes were on 15 min. alert in Dalaman .

For more photos and for the full text of the announcement click here.

TCG Gaziantep Helps Egyptian Fishermen

El Halevi drifting. Official Turkish General Staff Photo.

F-490 TCG Gaziantep helped a drifting Egyptian fishing boat off the coast of Libya according to an announcement of Turkish General Staff.

TCG Gaziantep is one of the 4 frigates Turkish Navy has assigned to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, enforcing the arms embargo against Libya.

The fishing boat El-Halevi was drifting in a storm after an engine failure.

On 1. April 2011, the distress call of this boat was heard by the Turkish frigate, which quickly sailed to the stricken boat. Upon establishing contact with the fishing boat, it turned out that boat with 15 people on board was drifting for the last 12 days.

On 2. April the defective batteries of M/V El-Halevi were taken to TCG Gaziantep for a repair. On the next day as the weather improved the technical assistance teams of TCG Gaziantep boarded the Egyptian vessel repairing the engines and replacing the batteries.

After receiving fresh water and food from the Turkish frigate, the fishing boat returned to Egypt.

For more photos click here.

M/F Ankara Returning To Turkey

M/F Ankara

M/F Ankara made the news yesterday in Libya and around the world.

The ferry sailed from Çeşme, İzmir on 27 March 2010. For the last five days she was waiting 25 miles off the coast of the Libyan city Misurata. The fighting in and around the city prevented M/F Ankara to dock at the harbor.

On 2. April she was able to dock in Misurata. After disembarking her cargo of 2 tons of medical supplies, she  picked up  250 wounded Libyans. After leaving Misurata in the evening of 2. April M/F Ankara arrived in Benghazi, yesterday.

In Benghazi 60 more wounded Libyans are taken on board along with 40 more evacuees of different nationalities. M/F Ankara is expected to arrive in Çeşme, İzmir in two days time..

While the ferry was waiting off Libyan coast she was protected by 12 F-16 fighter planes and by Turkish warships. There are reports that M/F Ankara arrived in Misurata with two unnamed Turkish frigates escorting her. But in the official announcement of Turkish Foreign Ministry only F-243 TCG Yıldırım is mentioned as escort.

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

The humanitarian mission of M/F Ankara to Libya was received a wide media coverage.

Libya: Turkish ship rescues injured from Misrata

Turkish ship rescues hundreds from Misurata

Turkish ship evacuates wounded from Libya city

Ship rescues dozens wounded by Gadhafi troops

Turkish hospital ship rescues Libyan wounded

Ship ferries Libyan wounded from besieged Misurata

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara

The Turkish civilian ferry M/F Ankara finally docked at Misurata port tonight according to Turkish Foreign Ministry tweets.

The ferry sailed from Çeşme, İzmir on 27 March 2010. For the last five days she was waiting off the Libyan city Misurata. The fighting in and around the city prevented M/F Ankara to dock at the harbor.

M/F Ankara is loaded with 2 tons of medical supplies and 3 ambulances. On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10. In Misurata she will disembark her cargo and will pick up 100 – 200 wounded Libyans for further treatment in Turkey.

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

The ferry will proceed to Benghazi after picking up the wounded Libyans in Misurata. The Meko 200 class frigate  F-243 TCG Yıldırım is escorting and protecting the ferry.

In Çeşme a small field hospital is erected by Ministry of Health. Numerous ambulances are waiting to carry the severely wounded patients to the hospitals when the ship arrives in Turkey.

Here is a video of M/F Ankara in Misurata:

List Of Warships Taking Part In Operation Unified Protector

NATO has published the names of the warships taking part in the arms embargo against Libya, as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

On left is the screen shot from NATO website showing the photos of the participating ships. The regular readers of this blog will find the two photos I have marked very very familiar.

The photos of the Turkish warships are directly linked to this blog.


The list of the participating ships is below:

A-5326 ITS Etna Tanker Italy
C-551 ITS Garibaldi Carrier Italy
F-572 ITS Libeccio Frigate Italy
P-492 ITS C. Bettica OPV Italy
F-339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
F-85 HMS Cumberland Frigate UK
F-451 HS Limnos Frigate Greece
F-104 ESPS Mendez Nunez Frigate (!) Spain
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
A-590 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
M-853 HMNLS Haarlem Minehunter Netherlands
M-923 BNS Narcis Minehunter Belgium
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
S-74 ESPS Tramontana Submarine Spain
Bosphorus Naval News

M/F Ankara Could Not Dock In Misurata

M/F Ankara

M/F Ankara is 25 miles off shore of Libyan city Misurata according to news reports.

The civilian ferry left Çeşme, İzmir with 2 tons of medical supplies,  3 ambulances.  On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10 too.

M/F Ankara was supposed to dock in Misurata to disembark her cargo and to pick up 200 wounded Libyans and deliver them to Turkey for treatment.  But the recent fighting in the city and the naval action just off the port prevented M/F Ankara from docking. The ship was 6,5 miles off the port, when she was pulled back by NATO warships as it was to dangerous to near the city where the clashes continue.

On 28 March 2010, one US Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft, one USAF A-10 attack aircraft and destroyer DDG-52 USS Barry engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller crafts after confirmed reports that Vittoria and accompanying craft were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata, Libya.

M/F Ankara will stay in region until the clashes in the city are over and it is safe to dock or the wounded Libyans will be transferred to M/F Ankara in high sea.

Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 5)

Turkish ferry M/F Ankara is heading to Misurata Libya according to an announcement made by the Office of the Prime Minister.

She is carrying 2 ambulances and 2 tons of various medical supplies. On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10.

When in Misurata, the ferry will pick up injured Libyans and bring them to Turkey for medical care.

Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 1)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 2)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 3)
Turkey Continues Evacuations From Libya (Part 4)

>Ukraine Sends A Warship To Libya While Romania And Bulgaria Prepares One


U-402 Konstantin Olshansky. NATO photo.

Exactly at midnight of 23th March 2011, the Ukrainian Ropucha 1 class landing ship U-402 Konstantin Olshansky Sevastopol to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation of Ukranian citizens trapped in Libya.

She has passed through Bosphorus on 24 March 2011 early in the morning and left Turkish territorial waters late at night.

According to Ukrainian Goverment Portal the ship can accommodated 500 to 600 evacuees on board.

Large landing ship Konstantin Olshansky has all the necessary stores, including fuel and lubricants, and foodstuffs. To ensure the safety and security of citizens of Ukraine except the crew aboard the ship there is the unit of Marines with standard weapon, doctors from the Military Medical Clinical Centre of Crimean region and psychologists, interpreters with knowledge of Arabic.

It was not stated on the portal how long the NEO will last.

Ukraine is not the only Black Sea country that sends a warship to Libya. Both Bulgaria and Romania have announced that they each will send a frigate to participate NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

Romania decided to send the frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand. The Type 22 class frigate was purchased from UK in 2004. The Romanian government decided to increase the defence budget by 4,5 million Euros from reserve funds in order to pay the participation of the frigate.

Bulgaria, too will send a frigate to Libya. Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov has issued orders to prepare the F-41 Drazki  of the Bulgarian Navy for participation in the NATO naval operation of Libya’s coast.

Both Regele Ferdinand and Drazki are currently in Black Sea and did not passed though Bosphorus yet.

>SACEUR, ADM Stavridis in Ankara

>Yesterday, on 23 March 2011, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Admiral Stavridis arrived in Ankara for a two day visit.

I do not know when this visit was planned but the timing could not have been better, after yesterdays declaration that Turkey will take part in NATO’s arms embargo against Libya.

According to Anadolu Ajansı news agency, Admiral Stavridis had a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Davutoğlu yesterday. Among the discussed topic are NATO’s activities in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the latest developments in Libya.

Today, Admiral Stavridis will meet with General Koşaner, Chief of Turkish General Staff.

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