>Turkish Coast Guard will enforce law, in Gulf of Aden

>This week the Turkish daily Akşam ran an interesting story. According to the story from now on Turkish Coast Guard personnel will be on board of Turkish warships sent to Gulf of Aden. Turkish jurisdiction gives Coast Guard personnel the power to arrest and detain people on high seas.

Currently TCG Gediz is send to the region as a part of a NATO naval task force. Thus she is under the legal umbrella of NATO and its agreements. TCG Gaziantep is on the other hand part of CTF-151 and she is confined to the international legal framework that was done to create this task force. When TCG Gediz captured 5 pirates under NATO mission, these were handed over to NATO authorities.

I assume that the need for the Coasties was highlighted when TCG Gediz and TCG Gaziantep were sent to escort M/V Horizon-1 after she was high jacked. During such mission the warships are transferred to national command. And during the time they are under Turkish national command Turkish laws applies to the ships and to their action. When Somali pirates or sea-rubbers are caught under national command then Coast Guard personnel are needed to enforce the law.

What strikes me is the fact why wasn’t this thought before. Since November 2008 Turkish warships are in the region combating piracy. And there has not been and recent and dramatic change in the related law. Therefore there was always a need for the Coast Guard personnel to enforce the Turkish law on the high sea. Is the ommision of Coast Guard personel a planning error or a judgement error?

Never the less, I am glad to see that the critical omission of law enforcers on board of our warships are going to be remedied.

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