Ankara summons Russian envoy over soldier brandishing weapon on warship

AFP , Monday 7 Dec 2015

Turkey on Thursday summoned Russia's ambassador to Ankara over images of a Russian serviceman brandishing a rocket launcher as his warship navigated through Turkish waters, a foreign ministry official said.

Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was summoned to the foreign ministry headquarters over the images published by the Turkish media on Sunday, the official told AFP, the latest escalation of tensions following Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane last month.

Turkey's private NTV channel broadcast pictures of what it said was a Russian serviceman aboard the "Caesar Kunikov" with a rocket launcher on his shoulder in the firing position as it passed through the Bosphorus Strait.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday has called on Russia to end "provocative acts" and said that Turkey had already taken the necessary steps in response to the incident, without giving further details.

"The ship's passage in such a way was clearly a provocation. This has to come to an end," Cavusoglu told Kanal 24 television.

"I hope it is an isolated incident, it is not a right approach," he said, calling on Russia to act as a "more mature state."

NTV reported that the vessel from the Russian navy's Black Sea fleet passed through the Bosphorus on Sunday morning. However other media said the incident occurred on Friday.

Moscow and Ankara are locked in their worst crisis since the Cold War over the November 24 jet downing on Turkey's border with Syria, sparking fury and economic sanctions from the Kremlin.

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