Turkish university student in Italian jail for 19 months after drug ship raid
ISTANBULA Turkish university student who was an intern on a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off Italy has been in jail for 19 months after police raided the ship and seized tons of drugs last year, daily Sabah reported on Oct. 12.
Sınmaz was on the last week of a six-month internship when the raid occurred on the Meryem, which was heading from Morocco to Turkey.
An Italian court later ordered the arrest of Sınmaz along with all the crew. The intern has been in an Italian jail on trial for the past year-and-a-half.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, Sınmaz’s family has been maintaining their judicial struggle to prove that their son is innocent.
“Italy is acting slowly in terms of the judiciary. My son is innocent. He was on that ship only for an internship. We have applied everywhere for his release but the trial is continuing and we have not gotten any result. My son is a successful kid. He does not even have a criminal record. It was also the first time that he sailed a long way. I mean, he is not a kid who would commit illegal things,” Sınmaz’s father said, adding that he had already sent his son’s internship documents from the university to Italy.
Sınmaz’s father said his son was serving his sentence at a prison in Sicily after having been transferred from Palermo.
“I occasionally find the opportunity to talk to my son. He was previously at a prison in Palermo. However, he was transferred to a more secure prison in Sicily after a while. We are waiting for help from Turkish officials,” Sınmaz’s father said.