Furkan Yaren, Ilhan Suha Tatligul and Bahadir Yesilalan had flown home to Turkey from Gabon.

Turkish crew members Furkan Yaren (L), Ilhan Suha Tatlıgul (R) and Bahadir Yesilalan (C) who survived pirate attack on cargo ship off Nigeria pose for a photo after they arrived at Istanbul Airport on January 30, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkish crew members Furkan Yaren (L), Ilhan Suha Tatlıgul (R) and Bahadir Yesilalan (C) who survived pirate attack on cargo ship off Nigeria pose for a photo after they arrived at Istanbul Airport on January 30, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey. (AA)

Turkey has brought home three sailors who survived a pirate attack on a container ship in the Gulf of Guinea.

Furkan Yaren, Ilhan Suha Tatligul and Bahadir Yesilalan had flown home to Turkey from Gabon. 


Yaren told reporters after his arrival that he injured his leg during the attack.

"We started to wait for help by closing the safety gates. Then they separated us. I don't remember how many people they were. They took our friends. We moved the ship to a safe point.

We gave the necessary information to authorities. We lost a friend and we are so sorry," said Yaren.

"I'm so glad to be reunited with my family," he added.

He thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu for getting involved.

Helm station

Tatligul said they locked themselves in the helm station during the attack and the pirates shot at the doors.

"They hit the doors with a sledgehammer for hours. They kept trying for six, seven hours. At that time, our Azerbaijani colleague died. I fell from a height and was slightly injured. Then they took our other colleagues. They didn't take me because they couldn't find me. Then they fled, leaving two wounded.

"Unfortunately, 15 of our friends were captured. There is not much to talk about. We should not upset their families any more or remind them of their pain."

At least 15 of the cargo ship's 19 crew members were abducted, while one, an Azerbaijani national, was killed.

Following the attack, Mozart anchored at the nearby Port-Gentil on Sunday, but with only three of its surviving crew members on board.

READ MORE: Turkish ship anchors at Gabon port after deadly pirate attack

All members in good health 

On Wednesday, an Istanbul-based firm which provides technical management services for the vessel, said all 15 crew members are in good health and uninjured.

"Boden Shipping communicated with the crew members of the container ship Mozart, which was hijacked off Sao Tome on Jan. 23, 2021," said a statement by the firm.

The company said it will "continue to make every effort to ensure the fastest release" of the crew who are their "first and only priorities" and "continue to be in constant communication with the families of the abducted sailors."

READ MORE: Kidnapped Turkish sailors safe, pirates tell shipping company

Source: AA