Kidnapped sailors return home after 16 months

Kidnapped sailors return home after 16 months

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Kidnapped sailors return home after 16 months

Mustafa Arıcıoğlu is seen with his son in this photo taken before the sailor's kidnapping. DHA photo

Three Turkish and 15 Georgian sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates arrived in Turkey today after being released Jan. 11.    

The sailors of the Greek merchant ship Olib-G were abducted by Somali pirates in September 2010. The 18-member crew included Turkish sailors Mustafa Arıcıoğlu, Fuat Özçelik and Yakup Öztürk along with 15 seamen from Georgia. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili greeted the sailors at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport.   

The families of the sailors embraced their loved ones upon their arrival. Arıcıoğlu’s wife, Aysel Önge Arıcıoğlu, said she had given up hopes of seeing her husband again after her pleas for help received no response from the prime ministry or other authorities. 

She said she was pregnant with their second child at the time of the kidnapping and that she and her two children went through financial and emotional difficulties while her husband was gone.