Commodore Ben Bekkering of the Royal Netherlands Navy and commanding officer of the standing NATO Maritime Group 1 said he was pleased to head to the region to take over the duty of Turkey’s TCG Giresun Frigate led by Rear Admiral Sinan Azmi Tosun, who is currently conducting the anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and surrounding regions.
|Commandeur Ben Bekkering|
Bekkering said they had attained their aims when asked about the success of NATO operations in the Indian Ocean. “We saw that the number of attacks went down rapidly. It was more than 10 now it’s two in a certain time of period,” he said. However Bekkering added that a combination of efforts from the United Nations and the European Union is intended to manage the problems in Somalia, which has no police forces.
‘Fighting piracy makes a difference’
German Frigate Rheinland-Pfalz also accompanied the Evertsen. Lt. Cmdr. Navigating Officer Heinrich Grosheim said they not only fight against pirates but also they conduct rescue operations.
“We rescued 425 Egyptian refugees from offshore Libya in March and managed to transfer them from Libya to Tunisia safely,” Grosheim told the Hürriyet Daily News. Lt. Cmdr. Karen Gelijns of the Evertsen staff also said they were looking to make a difference in the region by fighting piracy.
The ship will stay in Istanbul until May 26, and its second stop will be the southwestern province of Muğla’s Marmaris port from where it will sail through the Indian Ocean.
(Hürriyet Daily News, 23 May 2012)