Turkish sailors taken hostage by pirates off Nigeria
A Turkish cargo ship was attacked by pirates off the coast Nigeria and all 10 members of her crew have been taken hostage, reports the Daily Sabah.
Kadıoğlu Maritime, the operator of the ship, said in a statement that the ship Paksoy-1 was sailing without freight from Cameroon's port city of Douala to Abidjan in Ivory Coast when it was boarded by pirates.
“No injuries or loss of lives occurred according to initial information. Our efforts continue for the safe and sound release of all of our personnel,” it said in a statement.
According to Turkish maritime-related news website denizhaber.net, the 114-meter-long and 17-meter-wide ship was brought to the territorial waters of neighboring Ghana.
A ship from the Ghanaian Navy is sailing close to the abducted ship, the report said, citing Ghanaian officials who were trying to communicate with the pirates for the release of the personnel, including the captain and first mate.
Ömer Çelik, a Turkish government spokesperson said the government was closely following the matter and both the Foreign Ministry and intelligence units were "working on it."
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the pirates abandoned the ship, which was later towed to Tema Harbor in Ghana.
The statement added that the ministry was in contact with Nigerian and Ghanaian authorities to secure the release of the kidnapped Turkish citizens.
Kidnappings and piracy for ransom in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea are common. Last week, the International Maritime Bureau described the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous area in the world for piracy. It said 73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings took place in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Nigerian Navy has been actively trying to combat the growing crisis in recent months.