Med getting dangerous: Turkish ship attacked off Libya, third officer killed, several wounded

Tuna-1, a Turkish freighter, was attacked in international waters while it approached the Libyan port of Tobruk, leaving one crew member dead and several others wounded, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Monday. (VikiMoro/

A Turkish dry cargo ship’s third officer was killed and several other crew members were wounded after the ship was shelled off the Libyan coast and attacked from the air, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated on May 11. Ankara has issued a diplomatic note in protest at the Libyan authorities, and the ship is returning to Turkey after asking for an escort, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The Cook Islands flagged ship named “Tuna-1” was approaching Tobruk Part to deliver sheetrock cargo taken from Spain when it was shelled late on May 10 in international waters 13 miles away from Tobruk Port, the ministry said in a written statement on May 11, noting that the ship was also attacked from the air twice as it tried to leave the area…

…A Libyan military spokesman speaking to Reuters, on the other hand, said May 11 that the Turkish vessel was bombed “after it was warned not to approach the Libyan city of Derna.”

Turkey has long had strong links with oil-rich Libya, but the latter has been riven with divisions since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Turkish special representative to Libya, Emrullah İşler, became the first envoy to publicly meet with the internationally unrecognized [Islamist] authorities in Tripoli last year, adding to accusations that Ankara is pursuing an Islamist-leaning foreign agenda that has already seen it alienate numerous former allies in the region…

The internationally recognized, non-Islamist government is based in Tobruk. The Islamists have control of Tripoli. Islamic State claims to be in control of Derna.