“We don’t know why we stayed in Eritrea so long. They didn’t tell us anything but always treated us well”
Three Turkish sailors are all set to return home after nearly two-month detention in the East African country of Eritrea.
Last month, Selim Ekmekçioğlu, İbrahim İgnak, and Erman Lütfü Atamer regained their freedom due to the efforts of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
The trio was held in captivity for 56 days in Eritrea.
Ekmekçioğlu and İgnak have sailed off to Turkey from Djibouti on a dry cargo ship, İnce Kastamonu with special authorization from the Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry, according to the information obtained from diplomatic sources.
Atamer will stay in Djibouti for a while and return to the country later, the sources added. The Horn of Africa nation is Eritrea’s neighbor and enjoys good relations with Turkey.
Ekmekçioğlu set off on a world tour in September 2017. İgnak and Atamer joined him this March.
After arriving in Djibouti, the sailors got supplies and fuel.
They could not continue their journey onward as the Suez Canal was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The sailors decided to turn back and set ashore in Eritrea, only to be held by security forces.