The 15 Georgian sailors, who were released from 16-months captivity of the Somali pirates on December 9, are back to Georgia. A special flight has already landed at Batumi International Airport. Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili bought the sailors by his personal plane from Istanbul to Batumi.
Officials of Adjara Autonomous Republic's government, representatives of Marine Administration and family members hosted the released sailors.
Three Turkish sailors also released from captivity were brought to their homeland today. An airplane belonging to "Airzena" Georgian Air Company brought the sailors back home by a special flight.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey and Georgian President welcomed the sailors. Erdogan thanked the Georgian government for successfully led negotiations.
The ship with 15 and 3 sailors on board and accompanied by special security guards from Bulgaria entered one of the ports of Kenya, Africa Continent on January 12. The health condition of the sailors was satisfactory, though they underwent through a medical and psychological checkup.
The Greek owner of the ship refused to lead negotiations with the pirates and the Georgian government became involved into the case. The Adjara Autonomous Republic's Government assisted families of the sailors with 5 thousand GEL.
Giorgi Karbelashvili, Georgia's Deputy Economy Minister led the negotiations together with international organizations, insurance companies and private individuals.
The sailors were kept in detention during 1.5 years. The tanker having 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish sailors on board and sailing under Malta flag was detained by Somali pirates on September 8, 2010.