Turkish Navy steps in
A Turkish warship destroyed a group of pirate vessels over the weekend 280 miles North East of the Seychelles. The 13-strong pirate gang in three vessels threw their guns and scaling ladders overboard as the Turkish warship approached and claimed they were innocent victims, although they were unable to explain what they were doing 820 miles from the Somali coast, with no fishing nets or legal cargo.
The Turkish ship TCG GELIBOLU had sailed to the sea area having received maritime intelligence which indicated that pirate gangs were hunting for innocent merchant shipping. Working closely with an EU Luxemburg maritime patrol aircraft, operating out of the Seychelles, they were able to locate the pirates and disrupt their illegal activity.
The Commanding Officer of TCG GELIBOLU, Commander Baybars Kucukatay Turkish Navy said:‘The Turkish Navy working under NATO is proud to be able to save innocent merchant vessels from acts of piracy. Despite a huge search area, we have shown there is no hiding place for pirates at sea. TCG GELIBOLU will eventually find them.’
The operation marked another success for NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield, and reflected the close co-operation that exists between the NATO Alliance and other international forces.