türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 2 September 2015)
Capt. Özdeniz, left, going down with his ship.
On 15 November 2013 the Iron Trader ship, belonging to the
Turkish company 'Iron Shipping INC', set sail from Istanbul
with a crew of 10. The ship's schedule would have brought it
back in three months and the first stops in Ukraine, Bulgaria
and Montenegro went smoothly.
However, economic problems began at the first unloading port
in Nigeria and continued in Equatorial Guinea. At the last port
of call in Brazil the ship was held for lack of payment of port
fees and personnel salaries. So the remaining crew members have
been waiting for two years to return to Turkey.
Seven crew members gave up and left the ship and now two Turks
and a Russian remain in hopes of eventually collecting their money.
The company, though, is not paying the crew members so help for
them is coming from a local church and some aid organizations.
The crew members lamented that "we don't have money to return
and even if we do we won't get the money owed to us. We want
officials to hear our voices."
Iron Trader's rough seas began hereabouts.
The Panama-flagged vessel Iron Trader's problems began in Nigeria.
Because of some issues with the cargo, the ship was held in port
for 255 days. Finally, the Turkish Embassy at Abuja intervened to
solve the problem and the Iron Trader headed for Equatorial Guinea.
But since they had arrived late with their cargo they were made to
wait there for 2.5 months.
A year after leaving Istanbul, the Iron Trader reached the port of
Vitoria, Brazil, on 30 November 2014. Despite pleas from Captain
Ali Özdeniz, the ship's agent did not respond to his queries and
the Vitoria port authority ultimately explained to him that "the agent's
money has not been paid by the ship's owner 'Iron Shipping INC'."
Captain Özdemir asked for local help as the ship's stores and water
Help from a church near the port and the Brazilian fleet reached
the Iron Trader, which was allowed to approach the port for unloading
on 15 January 2015. But because the cargo was late and the crew's
salaries had not been paid, the port authority seized the ship. Officials
from 'Iron Shipping INC' then came to Brazil, reached an agreement
with the crew, agent and port about payments, and then returned to
However, the company did not pay all the money it promised to pay,
leaving the ship stranded in Vitoria. Murat Tali of 'Iron Shipping INC'
offered that "we're trying to solve the problem. There's no solution yet,
though. We hope to sort it out in two weeks. We're in constant contact
with the crew and when there's a solution they'll be brought back to
Turkey and we'll send a new crew for the ship. We're also very upset
about what they've gone through."
Vitoria, where the red star is.