Eritrea frees detained Turkish sailors

APA-Asmara (Eritrea)

Eritrea has released a group of Turkish sailors it had detained for the past three months, reports from Asmara suggest on Saturday.

The Turkish sailors were on a world tour when they were arrested and detained by the Eritrean authorities in March, setting in motion a frenzy of diplomatic activities for their release.

An account of their detention suggests that they had docked at a beach in Eritrea to replenish fuel and food only to be raided, arrested and detained by Eritrean soldiers who were apparently suspicious of their presence.

Eritrea a largely reclusive state, partially shut from the outside world has not commented.

According to the news reports in Turkey, Selim Ekmekçioğlu, İbrahim Iğnak and Erman Lütfü Atamer have since set sail for neighbouring Djibouti and will reach their destination by Tuesday.

The agency said the release of the sailors had followed intense diplomacy by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and its ambassador to Asmara.

It quoted Şeyda Ekmekçioğlu, the wife of the boat’s captain as saying that she had been on the phone with her husband who sounded well.



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