Connecting the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden is one of the busiest maritime trade routes in the globe. Vessels, navigating to South Africa, India, the Gulf of Hormuz or far East from down the Suez canal, have been regularly targeted by pirates. Firms seeking to protect the ships are recruiting former commandos on a regular basis.
Speaking to Bugün daily, the owner of the company providing maritime security, Murat Şöhlen said that until today his company ensured the safe passage of 450 ships through the Gulf of Aden, successfully fending off close to 255 pirate attacks.
Stating that there are nearly 50 former Underwater Offense Group Command (SAT) and Underwater Defense Group Command (SAS) naval commandos working for the company to protect ships, Şöhlen added that they have established the team in 2011 to provide protection service to the ships.
“We have provided the service for a total of 50 firms, local and foreign,” Şöhlen said.
In detailing what procedures are followed when countering a threat, Şöhlen states that the commandos first fire warning shots at the approaching speedboats packed with armed-attackers.
“Fending off attacks can be a difficult task, but thankfully our commandos are well-experienced. Each of them has at least 20 years of experience with the Turkish Naval Forces. Up until today, there have been engagements in around half of the 450 passages,” Şönel added.
Stating that there are 150 companies providing maritime security, Şönel said, “Turkish companies prefer to work with us mostly. 90 percent of our service is with Turkish companies. But, we also provide service for companies in Russia, Germany, Italy and Ukraine.”