Armed pirates hold Turkish sailors in captivity


A Turkish ship was attacked by pirates holding ten sailors in hostage. According to reports, the vessel Paksoy-1 was sailing from Cameroon to Ivory Coast, when it was seized by pirates, reportedly for ransom.

The pirates allegedly carried heavy guns. As per a statement released by Numan Paksoy, operations manager at Kadıoğlu Maritime, he reported that the ship was attacked by “12 pirates with heavy guns”.

Eight sailors however managed to escape, while Turkey alleges that it is taking measures to release the ten held in captivity.

As per sources, the ship was not carrying freight. The pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea. Owning to a statement by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the Gulf of Guinea is known for frequent piracy incidence and is regarded as the most dangerous sea for piracy. About 73% of kidnapping along with 92% of hostage occurrence take place in the Gulf of Guinea off Nigeria, Guninea, Benin, Togo and Cameroon.

During the attack, crew members reportedly hid themselves in a safe room- the citadel. However they had to give in when they were threatened by the pirates that they would burn the ship, killing all of them. The reports suggest that the pirates held ten in captivity, while they set eight sailors free.

In the wake of the attack, Ömer Çelik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK party, commented, the ministry was looking into the matter and was closely ‘working on it’.

However, lately there has been a cut-down in the number of attacks in the region, because of the Nigerian Navy patrols. The episode was quoted as ‘a welcome and marked decrease’ by IMB. This can be supported with the reduced figure of 21 compared to 31 incidents in 2018.