Somali pirates demanded a huge ransome for a Turkish ship and its crew which were captured on July 8.
Somali pirates have demanded 20 million dollars (14 million euros) for the release of the vessel and its 23-man Turkish crew, a company lawyer said Monday," Nilgun Yamaner, who represents the owner of the ship was quoted as saying.
Yamaner said she believed they were close to a deal with the pirates, but refused to say the figure her client, the Istanbul-based Horizon Shipping, was negotiating for the ship.
Somali pirates attacked Horizon-1, with 23 Turkish crew members on board earlier in July. The ship was enroute to Jordan from Saudi Arabia with 33,000 cubic metres of sulphide.
The crew were in good condition and had regular telephone contact with their families, Yamaner said.
In 2008, pirates attacked 111 ships in the waterway, hijacking 42 of them and receiving tens of millions of dollars in ransoms. Three of these vessels were Turkish cargo ships. Pirates hijacked four more ships since the beginning of 2009. Six ships from different countries are still held by pirates.