Turkey working to free sailors taken hostage by pirates off Nigeria
Ankara - Turkish diplomats have undertaken initiatives to free two Turkish sailors who have been taken hostage by pirates just off the Nigerian coast, Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday.
The captain and second engineer of the Marshall Islands-flagged ship Aleyna Mercan were taken hostage after the ship was attacked by pirates of the Nigerian port of Onne on April 20, the Anadolu news agency reported. The two men were later taken off the ship.
"Piracy has become a problem for the whole world in the recent years. Making use of the authority vacuums in some countries pirates attack and seize ships. They later demand ransom from the insurance companies," Yildirim said.
The minister said he had spoken to executives of the Turkish company that owns the ship and that the Foreign Ministry was in contact with the Maritime Undersecretariat in Nigeria seeking a way to free the hostages. (dpa)