Turkey Denies Reports That Naval Ships Missing
Turkey’s navy is still unable to account for 14 ships, while two helicopters with 25 special forces troops are also missing since an unsuccessful coup plot against the government. However, Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş has denied any naval vessels are unaccounted for.
With suspicions growing that the commanders of the vessels could have been behind a coup plot against the Turkish government and are now seeking asylum at Greek ports.
The ships were on duty in either the Aegean or the Black Seas on Friday before the coup to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took place. However, they have failed to return to port, though in theory radar and satellite tracking technology should be able to determine their locations, according to a reports. It is believed that the ships could be heading towards Greek ports.
The Turkish deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmuş, has dismissed reports that any naval vessels have gone missing. However, he did not give any further details as to their current location.
Eight Turkish military officers have already sought asylum in Greece after landing in the country on Saturday, where they were subsequently arrested.
The Turkish ambassador to Greece, Kerim Uras, has told the Greek authorities that the soldiers who fled to Greece will have a “fair and transparent trial in Turkey.”
He added that if the soldiers are not returned Turkey, this would not help bilateral relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the fate of the commander of the Turkish Navy Admiral Veysel Kosele, who has not been heard from since the attempted coup took place, is still unknown. It is also unclear if he took any part in the action against the president or whether he is being held against his will.
According to reports within the Turkish media, Admiral Kosele was tricked onto his ship by those supporting the coup who told him that a terrorist attack was taking place.
Two helicopters and 25 Special Forces troops are also missing since the failed coup, according to a reports on Turkish media.
.“We are looking out for every ship. We had information from talks that took place that at one point they wanted to enter Greece’s territorial waters. However, this did not happen,” a source told RIA Novosti.