Piracy (Armed Robbery) off the Coast of Somalia

Piracy/Armed Robbery off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

The scourge of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia continues to be a serious threat to international maritime safety, in particular to seafarers and international trade as well as to the security and prosperity of the regional countries.

Suffering from this scourge, Türkiye deplores and condemns these illegal acts. Five commercial vessels owned by Turkish citizens and/or with the Turkish crew held hostage by pirates were released.  Several other Turkish vessels have survived pirate attacks.

UN Security Resolution 1851 (2008) establishes a sound basis for international cooperation and a solid guidance in eliminating the ambiguities concerning the prosecution of pirates and related legal and procedural challenges. Türkiye fully supports the implementation of this resolution as well as UNSCR 1897. 

Türkiye believes, through the work of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia will be better addressed and the efforts to curb this threat will be more effectively coordinated.

As one of the CGPCS’s founding members, Türkiye will continue to actively participate in the work and deliberations of the CGPCS and its Working Groups. The eight meeting Plenary meeting of CGPCS held in New York on 21 March 2011 was chaired by Türkiye.

Following the Turkish Parliament’s authorization on 10 February 2009, a Turkish Naval Frigate has been deployed in the region and joined Combined Task Force-151 (CTF-151), which conducts counter-piracy operations in and around Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.

Having the means and the capabilities, Türkiye did not spare any effort in actively joining the multi-national counter-piracy operations in the region. Furthermore, Türkiye continues joining the multi-national counter-piracy operations in the region. Türkiye participated in Combined Task Force-151 and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-II) and has contributed 7 frigates to those missions so far. The Turkish Navy commanded CTF-151 from 3 May through 13 August 2009 and once again assumed the command of the Group for three months, from 1 September to 29 November 2010.

In 2009, Turkish naval forces prevented several pirate attacks to the vessels navigating in the region and warded off more than 90 piracy suspects in various operations

Turkish Parliament’s decision of 10 February 2009 authorizing the deployment of frigates in the region has been extended again for one more year, until 10 February 2012.

Notwithstanding the deepening and widening international cooperation to address the issue, we should not forget that a lasting solution to the problem can only be found if anti-piracy efforts are to be supported and complemented by concrete policies and measures that will contribute to the establishment of law and order in Somalia as well as sustained economic development in the region.