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ANKARA, December 16 /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Ankara has received no complaints from Russian shipowners that Turkey is allegedly holding Russian ships in Turkish ports, the embassy spokesman, Igor Mityakov, told TASS on Wednesday.
"The Russian embassy in Turkey has not received any letters from the shipowners or the crews of Russian ships regarding unlawful detention in Turkish ports after Russia had imposed economic penalties (on Turkey) following the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 jet," Mityakov said.
Reports that appeared in the local media earlier on Wednesday said that Russian ships had been held longer than required in Turkish ports. "Turkey has started holding Russian vessels in ports for inspection," Turkish newspapers Haberturk and Hurriyet said. "Six ships were held back on December 8. Today, their number has increased to 27," the Turkish media said.
In the meantime, there are no detained Russian ships in the Turkish port of Trabzon, Russia’s General Consul in Trabzon Dmitry Talanov said.
"The ships are going through the safety of navigation checks. But they are being carried out in compliance with international law and rules. We have not noticed any unfounded delays of Russian vessels," the diplomat clarified.
Turkey has the right to inspect any merchant ships for the safety of navigation. However, this type of control is often selective. In view of the ongoing tensions in the Russian-Turkish relations, the Turkish side, according to some reports, has decided to check all maritime transport from Russia.
A source at the governorate of the major Turkish Black Sea port of Samsun told TASS that the port had no problems with receiving and dispatching Russian ships. "The ships are coming and going normally. There are no extraordinary situations," the source said.