Turkey Detains Russian Ships In Black Sea, Blasts Moscow For Brandishing Rocket Launcher In Strait

Tyler Durden's picture

Exactly a week ago, we warned that Turkey does have one trump card when it comes to dealing with an angry Russian bear that’s hell bent on making life miserable for Ankara in the wake of Erdogan’s brazen move to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. Turkey, we explained, could move to close the Bosphorus Strait, cutting one of Moscow’s key supply lines to Latakia. 

We went on to explain, that such a move would probably be illegal based on the 1936 Montreux Convention, but as Sputnik noted, "in times of war, the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish government." 

Obviously, Turkey and Russia haven’t formally declared war on one another, but the plane “incident” marked the first time a NATO member has engaged a Russian or Soviet aircraft in more than six decades and given the gravity of that escalation, one would hardly put it past Erdogan to start interfering with Moscow’s warships, especially if it means delaying their arrival in Syria where the Russians are on the verge of restoring an Assad government that’s Turkey despises. 

Well sure enough, the tit-for-tat mutual escalation that’s ensued since the Su-24 crash has spilled over into the maritime arena with Moscow and Ankara detaining each other's ships. 

After five Turkish vessels were held at the port of Novorossiysk for “inspections,” Turkey retaliated on Friday by holding four Russian ships at the Black Sea port of Samsun. The following table reveals a hilarious list of the Russian vessels’ alleged infractions which apparently include fire safety violations, pollution prevention violations, and problems with “life saving appliances.”:

One of the vessels - the cargo ship Crystal - has yet to be released. 

"Six ships with a Russian flag were checked at Samsun Port on Dec. 5. The ships were found to be in compliance with Port State Control (PSC) rules, a series of international standards that all ships are required to meet, but some problems were subsequently detected in four of the ships," Hurriyet says, adding that "three of the ships consequently met the requirements and were permitted to leave, but the remaining vessel has not yet been permitted to depart." 

The Crystal apparently lacks the "required documents."

Obviously, Russia and Turkey are engaged in a bit of petty mutual escalation here, but it's worth noting that Samsun isn't far from the Bosphorus: 

And while Turkey now appears content to harrass Russian cargo vessels, one shouldn't discount the possibility that Erodgan will look to do something more provocative now that it looks like the UN will ultimately be dragged into the ISIS oil smuggling debate. 

Indeed, Moscow seems to be taking the Bosphorus issue quite seriously because as Hurriyet reported just hours ago, when the Russian warship Caesar Kunikov made its way through the strait on Saturday, a Russian soldier stood on deck with a shoulder ground-to-air missile at the ready. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's response: "For a Russian soldier to display a rocket launcher or something similar while passing on a Russian warship is a provocation. If we perceive a threatening situation, we will give the necessary response."" Indeed.

And meanwhile, three NATO warships have dropped anchor off Istanbul’s Sarayburnu coast: Portugal's F-334 NRP Francisco de Almeida, Spain’s F-105 ESPS Blaz de Lezo, and Canada's FFG-338 HMCS Winnipeg.

Source: Bosphorus Naval News

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Francis Marx's picture

This is going to be interesting. Putin! your chess move now.

Looney's picture

Erdogan’s fate has been sealed – he is a goner.

The spooks on both sides of the pond are preparing for him either:

a military coup d'état, Egyptian-style,

a terrisss attack by ISIS, or…

a suicide by Nailgun or Gluegun.

Vlad must be laughing with hiccups, like a baby, watching the NATO-clowns peeing all over each other.  ;-)


y3maxx's picture

...Turkey will prolly sink the Cdn ship ... it comprises 100% of the Cdn Navy.

That allows the USSA to send armed forces across Canada...in the name of peace.

Latina Lover's picture

One should expect such petty harassment by Erdogan. Putin has done an excellent job of destroying his reputation domestically and in the EU, opening up Erdogan and his family to eventual criminal charges in Turkey.  IMHO, I don't think that the Sultan wannabe thought that the Russians would 'out' his criminal support of ISIS so blatantly.


Truth is, however, that  detaining 4 Russian ships for minor violations is a chickenshit tactic, compared to closing down the Bosphorus. 

Furthermore, I doubt very much that the rest of the EU NATO states will support Turkey in a war against Russia. Since 75% of the NATO forces are Amerikan, this may not matter from a military standpoint, but certainly matters when the Obamanation claims to have an international coalition backing regime change in Syria.

In fact, Turkey is probably, after Israel and the USSA, the nation most hated by Western Europe. In Greece, Bulgaria and other eastern European countries, the Turks are the most hated nation, hands down.  I'll bet that most Europeans secretly wish that Russia would destroy Erdogan.

Urban Redneck's picture

But what about Russia detaining Turkish ships- is Saint Puty playing with chickenshit too?

The Turkish foreign minister missing the grads that could have laid waste to downtown Istanbul and focusing on a Strela-2 MANPAD should be grounds for extreme ridicule though.  I wonder what he will say the next time a Russian guided missile cruiser passes the Straights...

HowdyDoody's picture

Why bother, the ship has substantial naval canons on board. A rocket launcher with a bent firing tube? Sure, that's gonna work. Photoshop anybody?

A wider view shows interesting detail. The guy in the companion way with an overhead cover has a clearer, more brightly lit face than the guy on top deck.


Edit: People film ships passing through the straits all the time. A video showing the supposed manpad would be more convincing than a possibly photoshopped still image.


Barnaby's picture

The Caesar Kunikov is a large landing ship, like a marine-deployment ship. USers call them LSTs.

This particular vessel was employed in the battle for South Ossetia in 2008.

What Turkey should be concerned about is whether this ship is empty.

Four chan's picture

fuck turkey. the jews, the russians, obama, isis and iraq in general, thats what i think about all this.

J S Bach's picture

I don't know whether all of this is genuine or contrived (ala WWF - World Wrestling Federation or World War Faux)... but I'm rooting for Drago over The Sheik in this one.

strannick's picture

NATO called into protect ISIS oil smugglers and Turkush oil thieves. This shoukd debunk the NATO myth of peacekerper vs. exploiter

svayambhu108's picture

Erdogan was used by TPTB to do a lot of shit I will be surprized if the TPTB doesn't throw him under the bus

JRobby's picture

The Bus with his name on it is coming down the road. WWIII starts and he is just a footnote aftward.

philipat's picture

I disagree that the ball is in Putin's court. Under International law and the Montreux Convention, Turkey must allow free access through The Bosphorus from The Black Sea UNLESS THERE IS A STATE OF WAR. So, actually, the ball is firmly in Erdogan's court to decalre war on Russia, thereby possibly invoking Article 5 of the NATO Charter to involve all NATO countries in said war. NATO might not be amused.

The US, of course, has a "Deep commitment" to the free passage of maritme vessels, as evidenced by its behaviour towrads China in The South China Sea. So here would be another opportunity to Putin to further expose US hegemony and hypocrisy. So the ball is very definitely NOT in Russia's Court as Putin will play his usual patient Chess game and allow "The Allies' to get their knickers in a twist all over again.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

Article 5 doesn't cover unilaterally declaring war. It covers protecting allies that come under attack.

And the USA has never ratified 'freedom of the seas', so they have no intention of enforcing it in anything other than cases of self interest.

philipat's picture

Yes, I forgot that the US is exceptional...

JohninMK's picture

The 6 or so large landing ships form the backbone of the 'Syrian Express' Russia to Syria shuttle service. The ships are on a continuous 3 week round trip treadmill. Carrying between 5-700 tons (like 10 tanks) per trip they have been joined by several other Russian Navy auxillary ships as well as about 8 recently acquired merchant ships, including a big RO-RO ferry.

These ships are always loaded to the gunnels southbound and empty northbound.

The LSTs are of course fairly heavily armed so the MAMPAD was a one or two finger gesture (depending on your mood!)

silvermail's picture

Russian soldier with MANPADS and in a bathrobe of Eastern terrorists? It's that - a new uniform in the Russian army or a new anecdote of the day?

Quasi's picture

Looks like a standard Russian Naval long-coat to me. As seen in "The Hunt for Red October". A robe would be much longer. Besides, that guy had to stand out there for 45 minutes shouldering that thing in the cold; hope he had long undies. Putin should give him his own stained glass window in the Haiga Sophia once he kicks the trash out.

silvermail's picture

As seen in "The Hunt for Red October"?

In what year the movie was made, of which you speak? It was 70 years ago or 40?

HowdyDoody's picture

Look at the armament of Caesar Kunikov

2 × twin 57 mm (2.2 in) DP guns

4 × 8 Strela 2 SAM launchers

2 × 22 A-215 Grad-M rocket launchers

So it carries 4 sets of hard mounted 8 unit Strelas and 2 sets of 22 tube Grad MLRS. This vessel could lay waste to a significant part of Constantinople before the Turks had time to react. The one man with a possible Igla is however a 'provocation' - more PR bs for the ignorant masses.

Ofelas's picture

Constantinople where is that, could not find it on the map

Ofelas's picture

Constantinople where is that, could not find it on the map

researchfix's picture

The Russian soldiers always have adequate clothing, especially agains coldness.

It were Adolf´s boys who were trapped in the Russian winter with summer uniforms.

HowdyDoody's picture

The Russians break the ice on lakes to go swimming in winter. Those heading to the Med at this time of year are more likely to button up their shirt rather than put on 'winter' clothing.


Johnny Horscaulk's picture
Johnny Horscaulk (not verified) Urban Redneck Dec 6, 2015 3:47 PM

Russia detained ships after turkey delayed and detained several ships.

oh and did a sneak attack on one of their fighters, then had their terror proxies shoot at the parachuting pilots and rescur helicopters.

So yeah.  Saint Puty, indeed.

Urban Redneck's picture

Well if you don't want to take Tyler's word for it, you can read the order of events from Bloomberg.  Saint Puty's minions started the childish boat inspection game.

Turkey released three of four Russian ships that it detained this month at a Black Sea port for maritime safety violations, according to data on the website of Port State Control for the Black Sea.

The action at the port of Samsun came after Russia held five Turkish ships for port inspections at Novorossiysk, according to two port officials who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media. All the vessels have been released by the Russians.


Although Tyler could have included screenshots for both November and December for those who missed the context and sequence of events...


Johnny Horscaulk's picture
Johnny Horscaulk (not verified) Urban Redneck Dec 6, 2015 7:29 PM

okay fair enough you might be right on the ship inspection game.

Still a big difference between that and ambushing a bomber on its way to attack isis positions and violating Syrian airspace to do it, no?

Urban Redneck's picture

Of course Erdogan is stirring the pot and playing with fire that could burn us all.  But I couldn't pass up the opportunity fuck with the Puti tolls, precisely because it was probably a low level .gov Puti troll in Novorossiysk who thought a massive escalation in Turkish ship detentions would be a "good idea" (I doubt the cabinet ministers advising Putin are dumb enough not to realize that the Turks would respond in kind using the exact same treaty framework).  

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Latina Lover Dec 6, 2015 11:35 AM

Putin doesn’t want to do anything to interrupt the flow of shit coming down from the Federal Reserve and the ECB to the peasants at the bottom of the hill.

People seem to forget he lived through this financial shit storm in the old USSR.  He knows what is coming.

Mr.Sono's picture

Money counterfeit,
You are correct, I think Putin knows collaps is near.

Big_Sister_Is_Watching's picture

I hear a Doors tune playing in the background of this article...

Whoa Dammit's picture

The picture of the dude with the rocket launcher on the Russian ship looks photoshopped.

Barnaby's picture

"Thank you! Our Creative Cloud subscription has finally payed off!"

~ Turkish Foreign Ministry PR Dept.

ebear's picture

Why? Because he's standing in the shadow of the mast and therefore looks darker? Or maybe he's a negro, and we all know there are no negroes in Russia, so yeah.... definitely shopped.

HowdyDoody's picture

No shadows or color variation on the body compared to the other sailor about six foot in front of him, or even the face of the person. The supposed Igla appears to eith be bent behind the man's back, or even more tikely, not in line with the front.

Download the image and zoom in to see for yourself.

trulz4lulz's picture

Also appears to be black bleeding on the hand rail by the mans right arm. check it out if you want. ill load i into gimp later.

Urban Redneck's picture

You can also download all the more high resolution pictures from different angles that have appeared on therwebz and compare them... but the basic facts are fairly well substantiated.

Tyrone Shoelaces's picture

Notice the other sailor wearing combat gear and helmet, and rocket boi is wearing a trench coat and a knit sock hat.


robertocarlos's picture

He woke up late for the drill so he quickly put on his housecoat and got on deck. Or maybe he's their Klinger.

HowdyDoody's picture

An Igla unit weighs about 24 pounds. I wouldn't want to stand around with one of those on my shoulders just for show.

tbd108's picture

"This is the end, my only friend the end." Is that the one?

researchfix's picture

Yes, or maybe "when the music´s over, turn out the light"

_SILENCER's picture

Didn't the turkish prez just receive a 3 billion dollar bribe to leave office?

HowdyDoody's picture

No, it was a bribe to hold back on the flow of migrants until the EU public stops whining about it and moves on to the next distraction - Kardashian's ass has just gone super-nova, wow!


Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Closing down the straits will be against the maritime law "freedom of navigation" and will backfire badly and also hurts Turkey's trade.

jme540's picture

I am not sure if Turks could keep the straits closed. A few tactical nukes could persuade them to stop trying.

HowdyDoody's picture

Erdogan wont close the Bosphorus. He will lose too much in transit fees.


Al Tinfoil's picture


With all due respect to the deceased pilot and his family, I cannot help but think that Putin could not believe his luck when Turkey made such an appallingly obvious and stupid move in shooting down the Russian plane in Syria.  Russia was immediately seen as the victim of crazy Erdogan, and Putin was handed the dais to reveal the support given to ISIS by Turkey, and reveal the dirt about the oil trade between ISIS and Turkey.