Though almost all of its kidnapped crew were Turkish nationals, the cargo ship that was attacked off Nigeria over the weekend is not Turkish-owned or registered in Turkey, said a Turkish marine company executive on Monday.
"The ship is not Turkish-owned or Turkish-flagged," Levent Karsan, the director-general of Istanbul-based Boden, told a press conference on the Turkish sailors who were kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday.
Following Saturday’s attack, the Liberian-flagged cargo ship Mozart on Sunday anchored at nearby Port-Gentil, Gabon, but with only three of its surviving crew members on board.
Turkey is doing everything it can to get the 15 kidnapped sailors back – whose whereabouts are unknown – though to date the pirates have not made contact with Turkish officials, according to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Karsan added that the ship belongs to foreign investors and his company was only responsible for its technical management.
The ship is managed by Borealis Maritime, a firm based in London and Hamburg, Germany, Karsan said.
When the ship docked in Gabon, the body of an Azerbaijani engineer who lost his life in the attack was brought to shore, and will be brought to Turkey via Turkish Airlines and then to neighboring Azerbaijan, he said.
A team to replace the crew members on board will fly to Gabon within two days, Karsan said, while the survivors will be brought back to Turkey.
He added that though his company does not hire the crew members, it is responsible for checking their qualifications.
3 crew members in good condition
The three Turkish crew members in Gabon are in good condition, said Turkey’s Embassy in the capital Libreville, adding that they are taking care of procedures to transport the body of the fallen Azerbaijani crewman.
"We are carrying out the transport of the body of our Azerbaijani brother, who died during the incident on the Mozart in the Gulf of Guinea. Three Turkish sailors are in good health,” said the embassy on Twitter.
In Saturday’s pirate attack, 15 Turkish crew members were kidnapped and three remained with the pirates, while one Azerbaijani crew member was killed.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.