17 Nov 2011 1 Comment
Almost one week has passed since the hijacking of the M/V Kartepe. With each passing day the dust and gun smoke around the whole affair settles leaving us with a better view of the things that happened during that night.
As always the first information about the incident was incorrect or false. There was only one member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 27-year-old Mensur Güzel on board during the hijacking and not 4 as reported.
He entered the vessel along with other passengers in Izmit at 17:45 in 11th November 2011. There were 18 passengers, 4 crew and 2 trainees on board. The terrorist entered the bridge by the thread of detonating a bomb strapped to him and took the command of the ship.
The second captain of M/V Kartepe was able to inform the security forces before the hijacker have the cell phones collected.
During the night M/V Kartepe sailed across the Marmara Sea mostly in circles with coast guard and police interception boats in her vicinity. It is not clear who ordered the router for the vessel was it the hijacker who gave the directions or was it the captain.
In the middle of the night the fuel of the off the shore of Silivri a suburb of the west of Istanbul.
In the mean time the security forces were able to verify that there was only one terrorist on board. This information was confirmed by some of the passengers as the called when the terrorist returned them their cell phones.
Shortly before the dawn the security forces contacted one of the crew member on board to open the entrance doors at the back of the boat so that a naval special forces team of 15, can enter inside while the terrorist was still in the bridge.
After all the passengers were gathered in a safe place in M/V Kartepe, the naval commandoes shot the hijacker at 05:45. According to news reports he was shot 6 times; 3 shots in head 3 shots in chest.
Later 3 pieces of explosives type A-4 each weighting 450 grams, various detonators and chemical substances to enhance the force of the blast were recovered from his body.
The passengers who were interviewed by the press after the incident told that the whole operation of the special forces was very smooth almost as if all was an exercise.
I believe that the whole hijacking incident was a very good reminder for all of us why a country needs naval special forces and that they are a versatile tool not just for a war but for any kind of maritime security issue