The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that the ship Nemo, owned by the Estonian company UMM and flying the colors of Antigua and Barbuda, in January 2011 delivered goods to the Turkish port of Izmit. Because of the stale ship papers, it was detained by the Turkish side. Soon it became known that the shipowner went bankrupt.
The ship's crew, who were not paid wages for 4 months, on the recommendation of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), filed a lawsuit in a local court to recover the arrears through sale of the vessel.
In May 2011, a Turkish court ruled in favor of the seamen; the decision was not appealed and entered into force.
Since December 28, 2011, the crew has been staying at the department for work with foreigners of the Kocaeli Provincial Police (Izmit) until transit Turkish visas are drawn.
Upon the result of the Ukrainian diplomatic efforts, the relevant authorities of Turkey agreed to give permission to leave the country for four Ukrainians, insisting that two crew members would stay in Turkey until auction sale of the vessel and organization of its transfer to a new shipowner.
"In this context, the Ukrainian foreign ministry has officially requested the Turkish foreign ministry, demanding immediate settlement of the situation, unconditional observance of rights of the sailors and their speedy return home," the MFA statement reads.
Consular officers stay on the ground, providing assistance to the citizens of Ukraine and securing their departure from Turkey. The matter is under control of the foreign ministry heads.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, on January 4 the Ukrainian sailors went on a hunger strike.
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