Transport and Infrastructure Minister of Turkey Adil Karaismailoğlu has said there are 21 Turkish cargo ships currently in the Odessa Port in Ukraine, the daily Türkiye on March 30 reported.
“No matter where in the world, if something happens to a Turkish ship, they call us first. We follow Turkish-owned ships wherever they are in the world,” Karaismailoğlu stated.
Karaismailoğlu said it is not clear whether the ships will come because of the war, adding, “Four of the ships are Turkish flagged and the others are Turkish owned. There are 100 people aboard the ships. They are not asking for evacuation. They don't want to leave the ships.”
“We are discussing the status of the ships through our foreign and defense ministries. There is misinformation out there. Some say, 'there is a mine,' some say 'there is no.' It is necessary to get permission from both Ukraine and Russia, but it is a bit difficult in the war environment. Ships are scanned and searched,” he said.
Karaismailoğlu also spoke about mines found in the Black Sea and the Bosphorus reportedly after they washed away from Ukrainian waters amidst the war.
“The Coast Guard is on alert. Searches are continuing more carefully. Our coast guard ships are constantly on the move. Now we have ramped up the measures a little more,” he said.
The Turkish military previously announced that it deactivated a second mine found off the coast of the Turkish northwestern city of İğneada along the Black Sea.