28 May 2011 Leave a comment
I was wondering for some time about the fate of the Somali pirates captured by Turkish Navy. The reason for my wondering was the simple fact that Turkish General Staff and Turkish Navy only informed about the arrests and there was no information available about the proceedings afterwards.
Well sometimes the best information about our armed forces comes from abroad. And this time the information comes from 5800 kilometers distance. In early May 2011, The Turkish contribution to NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, F-491 TCG Giresun made a port visit in Male, Maldives.
Two Maldivian web sites, Haveeru Online and Minivan News reported in-depth about this visit. Both sites posted similar content so I belive their reporters were on the same time on board of TCG Giresun.
An unnamed Turkish Naval officer acting as the spokesperson informed among other things that in instances where suspected pirates were caught, the Turkish authorities were not able to try or incarcerate any of the individuals themselves.
“They are not our captives as we are operating under United Nations resolutions and currently there is not an established court to judge [alleged] pirates that have been captured. So we attempt to disrupt and deter them [from piracy], we take their weapons and drop the equipment into the sea,” he said.
“We take all their equipments and then return [the suspects] to the Somali coast. Some countries have special [legislative] agreements, such as Kenya and the Seychelles. These agreements relate only between [these nations] and not internationally, so they capture the alleged pirates and then take them to Kenya or to the Seychelles to be judged.”
I am not surprised to learn that all the Somali pirates captured by Turkish Navy were returned to the sea. The lack of any prosecution against the pirates and the lack of the news about the legal rules against the pirates whether in Turkey or elsewhere was enough proof. There are other navies that thread the pirates in a same way. Then on the other side of the scale there are the Russians.
What bothers me is the lack of an internationally agreed solution to that problems. The lack of a standard way of legal proceeding against the pirates makes the fight against the piracy almost non efficient. If you take away the piracy paraphernalia and send the pirates back means you are working for the benefit of the piracy paraphernalia producers as they gain a net profit from the whole thing.
Read the lyrics of the traditional sea shanty Drunken Sailor. There are some excellent suggestions what we can do the a pirate. But I am afraid that they would be considered to inhuman in our modern society.