Six out of 15 rescued Turkish sailors were brought Saturday to the Nigerian capital Abuja under local security forces’ guard and reached the Turkish embassy in the city.
Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria Melih Ulueren, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization members, and embassy officials welcomed the crew members, who were kidnapped after the cargo vessel had fallen victim to a pirate attack off Nigeria and rescued on Friday.
Upon their arrival at the embassy, the sailors talked to their families over the phone.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ulueren said the worry was over now. “We are very happy to see our citizens among us in good health.”
Mesut Meral, one of the rescued crew members, said: “Everything is fine. I can tell the families in Turkey that they shall not be sad, we will return to our country soon.”
The remaining nine sailors are expected to reach the embassy in the evening hours.
In a pirate attack on Jan. 23, 15 of the Liberian-flagged ship Mozart’s 19 crew members were abducted, while one of them, an Azerbaijani national, was killed.
Following the attack, the ship anchored at the nearby Port-Gentil, but with only three of its surviving crew members on board. They were brought to Turkey on Jan. 30.
The vessel was managed by Borealis Maritime, a firm based in London and Hamburg, Germany.
*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara