Pirates attacked a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnapped 15 Turkish sailors before allowing them to sail towards Gabon, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave instructions to move in order to rescue the hostages.
The Al-Jazeera correspondent in Turkey, quoting diplomatic sources, stated that the “Mozart” ship flying the Liberian flag was attacked on Saturday by pirates while it was sailing about 180 nautical miles off the Nigerian city of Lagos.
The sources said that the pirates took 15 Turkish citizens of the ship’s crew hostage, while one of the crew members of Azerbaijani nationality was killed during the pirates storming the ship, which headed with 3 of its crew to Port Gentil in Gabon.
The attack took place while the Turkish ship was sailing from Lagos in Nigeria to Cape Town in South Africa.
The ship is supposed to have arrived this morning at Port Gentil in Gabon, according to what was reported by the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
The Turkish presidency said in a tweet on Twitter that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the ship’s captain, Furqan Yaren, twice, to learn about the latest developments.
She added that he confirmed during the call that he had given instructions to all concerned authorities to work to rescue the detained crew members.
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu contacted his Azerbaijani counterpart to express his condolences in the Azerbaijani seas who were killed during the attack, indicating that the body of the victim will be delivered when the ship reaches the port in Gabon.
Details of the attack
In the details of the attack, which was carried out by armed pirates, the Turkish Maritime Transport Administration stated that the crew members initially took shelter in an area of the ship considered safe.
She explained that after 6 hours of the start of the attack, the pirates were able to storm the area where the sailors were holed up.
While the sailors tried to prevent the attackers from reaching them, Azerbaijani sailor Farman Ismailov was killed, while the attackers kidnapped 15 Turkish sailors at gunpoint.
Turkish media said that the Azerbaijani sailor who was killed was the only one with a non-Turkish nationality on the crew of the container ship.
The kidnappers kept 3 Turkish sailors to drive the ship after they disabled its systems, except for the navigation radar.
Captain Yarin was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that he was sailing “aimlessly” towards Gabon, because only the ship’s radar was operational.
According to the Associated Press, the Gulf of Guinea, within which Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Benin and Togo are located, is the most dangerous sea in the world due to pirate activity in it.