Sant Andrea Alberti


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On 16 January 1996, Avrasya was hijacked at Trabzon, Turkey by six Turkish citizens descended from the Caucasus and two Chechen and one Abkhaz, led by Abkhaz Muhammed Tokcan. There were 45 crew and 120 passengers on board at the time. The hijackers threatened to kill a hostage every 10 minutes unless the captain of the ship revealed himself and agreed to sail out of port. The Turkish authorities did not prevent the ship from leaving port. The rebels threatened to sink the ship in the Bosporus Strait if fighting continued in Pervomayskoye. Two frigates and a destroyer of the Turkish Navy shadowed Avrasya. Negotiations with the hijackers failed to obtain the release of a diabetic police officer and a pregnant woman. The hijacking ended without bloodshed on 19 January and Avrasya put into Karadeniz Ereğli. Thirteen of the hostages were taken to hospital. On 21 January, she departed Karadeniz Ereğli for her original destination of Sochi, Russia. The hijackers who were Turkish citizens, Erdinç Tekir, Sedat Temiz, Ertan Coşkun, Muhammet Tokcan and Ceyhun Mollamehmetoğlu, were sentenced to eight years in prison for hijacking. Erdinç Tekir, Sedat Temiz, Ertan Coşkun, Ceyhun Mollamehmetoğlu served 4½ years in prison. Muhammet Tokcan was released from prison on 23 December 2000.