Turkish captain removed from his seat over insulting Erdoğan
The crew of a freighter was released today after being held over allegedly insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during its passing, Doğan News Agency reported.
The Turkish-origin captain of the Panama-flagged freighter 'Salix' was reported to have insulted the president on radio talks with the Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) during its passage through the Dardanelles strait as it was bound for the southern province of Mersin from Ukraine’s Berdyansk.
VTS officials reported the incident to the Çanakkale port authority and the captain was immediately removed from his seat. The chief mate reportedly took control over the vessel and it was anchored off the nearest spot, the north of Bozcaada, for legal proceedings.
Coast guard teams interrogated the captain over the incident before referring him and the other three crew members to the police. They were later referred to court.
The head of the Çanakkale port authority, Ramazan Yılmaz, meanwhile stated that the captain was likely intoxicated.
The captain and the three crew members were eventually released following their legal proceedings at the court.