Turkish social media have been circulating images claiming to show a Russian serviceman on a naval vessel passing by Istanbul holding what appears to be a rocket launcher. Ankara has slammed the reported incident as a “provocation”.It is claimed to have taken place in the Bosporus with photos beginning to emerge online last Friday. They purportedly show a large Russian landing ship – the Caesar Kunikov – sailing by the Turkish city en route from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Russian ambassador over the reported incident, a Turkish official told Reuters.
“For a Russian soldier to display a rocket launcher or something similar while passing on a Russian warship is a provocation,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters Sunday.
“If we perceive a threatening situation, we will give the necessary response,” he added, according to Hurriyet.
The Turkish foreign ministry has also warned the Russian ambassador against any repeat of the incident, Reuters reports citing sources.