Ferry hijacked near Izmit, Turkey

Story highlights

  • As many as four other hijackers could also be on board
  • A hijacker claiming to be armed with explosives hijacks a ferry
  • The only demand so far is to show the hijacking on television, an official says
  • The ferry is carrying 17 passengers and four crew, the provincial governor says
At least one hijacker claiming to be armed with explosives hijacked a ferry boat Friday night near Izmit, Turkey, according to a provincial governor.
A hijacker went to the captain's quarters aboard the ferry Kartepe about 5 p.m. and took the captain hostage, Ercan Topaca, the governor of the western province of Kocaeli, told CNN Turk.
"I am in touch with the captain but the captain has to say what the hijacker tells him to say. He can't say anything else." Topaca said.
So far, the only demand is that the incident be shown on television, Topaca said.
While Topaca said authorities believe the hijacking is the work of one individual, they are not ruling out the possibility that the hijacker has an accomplice aboard the ferry, Topaca said.
Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim put the number of suspected hijackers at four or five, according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.
The vessel was carrying 17 passengers and four crew members, Topaca said. So far, there is no indication that any of the passengers have been harmed, according to Yildirim.
The boat was circling Friday evening in the Marmara Sea and has limited fuel supplies on board.
"After a while he will run out of gas," Topaca said.
Izmit is about 50 miles east of Istanbul. It is on the Marmara Sea, which lies between the Mediterranean and Aegean seas to the southwest and the Black Sea to the northeast.