Turkey in Distress After Pirates Attack

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Two days ago, pirates attacked a Turkish crew container and abducted 15 sailors. Since the incident, tensions have escalated in the country, as the government and families cannot comprehend what happened. They are worried as they haven’t received any news from the pirates.

“We have not yet received word from the pirates,” foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

The Tragedy

On Saturday, a Turkish Vessel was sailing from Lagos headed to Cape town when pirates hijacked it. Marine time reported that it was around morning hours when the incident transpired. Upon realizing that they were under attack, the crew members decided to lock themselves up in the safe room. However, after hours of trying to force entry, the pirates managed to open the enclosure.

After gaining entry, they demanded the sailors who were already resisting to come with them. Therefore, while struggling to free themselves, the pirates killed one of them. Turkish authorities identified the deceased as Engineer Farman Ismayilov of Azerbaijan. After kidnapping most of the sailors on board that day, they went off.

The vessel ( M/V Mozart) owner confirmed that it was attacked when it arrived with only three sailors who had injuries. Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs sent condolence messages to Farman’s family. He assured them that once the vessel had arrived at the dock, they would send the deceased’s body.

According to reports, the pirates had disabled most of the ships’ operational units, leaving only the navigation system. This was to help the remaining crew find their way to the port. It is not the first time for such an incident to happen. A similar incident occurred in mid-2019 when pirates kidnapped ten Turkish seamen off the coast of Nigeria. Maritime Bureau reports reveal that a total of twenty-two pirate incidences have happened in the sea. With most targets coming from countries bordering the sea. Therefore it is quite evident the Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous sea.

Reactions to the Tragedy

Turkey’s minister for transport stated that they were working swiftly to release the sailors.

“We will rescue our citizens from the hands of these bandits and reunite them with their families as soon as possible,” Adil Karaismailoglu said.

The constant attacks have resulted in sailors demanding safety from the Nigerian government. Hence, Nigeria now has a responsibility to improve its harbor’s security to protect both sailors and cargo. Meanwhile, Nigeria is the first country to approve of an anti-piracy law. Nigeria’s suppression of piracy aims to prevent and suppress piracy, Kidnappings, armed robbery, and any unlawful act against the ship, aircraft, and maritime craft.

Nigeria being the first country to pass the law, has been commended by many. However, piracy is a significant problem in Nigeria because pirates operate mostly in the waters of the Niger delta. However, despite the surging pirate attacks in Nigeria, their government is certain that they will successfully bring down the bandit organization with help from neighboring and international states.

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