Germany rejects Turkey complaint over ship search in Mediterranean

Germany's defence minister on Tuesday rejected Turkey's complaints over a German frigate’s search on a Turkish cargo shipin the Mediterranean Sea, insisting that German sailors did no wrong, AP reported.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the ambassadors of the European Union (EU), Germany and Italy following the incident, during which the EU mission the German frigate was a part of - Irini - reportedly searched the Turkish vessel due to suspicion of carrying weapons to the war-torn country Libya.

Turkish officials claim the freighter Rosaline-A was subjected to an “illegal” search by personnel from the German frigate Hamburg. Turkey also maintains the search was “conducted by force.”

“It is important to me to make really clear that the Bundeswehr soldiers behaved completely correctly,” AP cited German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as saying during an appearance in Berlin. “They did what is asked of them in the framework of the European Irini mandate.”

The top German defence official added there were “no grounds for these accusations that are now being made against the soldiers.”

In June, France, another participant in the Irini mission, said one of its frigates had been "lit up" multiple times by Turkish naval targeting radar after attempting to near a Turkish civilian ship suspected of helping in arms trafficking to Libya.

Turkey has been accused of violating the U.N. arms embargo in Libya, where Ankara backs the Tripoli administration, led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj.