Cablegate: Turkey: Detention of Scan Bothnia a Reminder Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. The British-flagged vessel Scan Bothnia, en route from
Ukraine to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was detained on
June 9 at the port of Derince near the Bosporous by Turkish
Coast Guard and Customs authorities on the suspicion that it
was illegally smuggling US military equipment.

2. Acting on a media tip-off, Turkish authorities boarded
the ship at Derince, a transit port, and found six military
recovery vehicles and twenty crates of parts, inside of which
were an additional six containers of machine guns. According
to Turkish authorities, the weapons were not listed on the
transit application form and, when questioned, the ship's
captain did not acknowledge the presence of weapons on board.

3. Taos Industries, the US contractor for the heavy tracked
recovery vehicles, contacted us on June 9 to request
assistance in freeing the ship. The company provided
documentation substantiating that the six vehicles and
related parts, including defensive weaponry, were ordered by
the US Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (USTACOM) for
delivery to US forces in Iraq and eventual transfer to the
Iraqi Security Forces. After confirming the bonafides of the
company and placement of the order by TACOM, we requested MFA
assistance to gain the vessel's release. On June 17, the
vessel was released.

4. According to the MFA, the ship was detained because the
ship's transit application form, which requires
acknowledgment of the number and type of any weaponry
contained in the cargo, only listed "general parts." We have
notified Taos Industries, which has a contract for the
delivery of up to 66 tracked recovery vehicles to US forces
in Iraq, that all weaponry must be specifically listed on the
transit application and should be acknowledged by the ship's

5. COMMENT: This avoidable oversight cost the ship a
one-week delay in reaching its final destination and may
result in additional delays in the UAE, where the vehicles
are to be transferred to a US-flagged vessel for final
delivery to Iraq. US military equipment has traversed the
Turkish Straits previously without incident. The lesson of
Scan Bothnia case is that contractors and/or shippers must
clearly and properly notify the Turkish authorities of the
military cargo they are carrying through the Bosporous. END

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: UN Strongly Condemns Knife Attack Inside Nice Church Which Left Three Dead

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his ... More>>

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

UN News: Millions Affected As Devastating Typhoon Strikes Viet Nam

A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country. There are also reports that 174 ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>