Fifteen migrants and asylum-seekers, including vulnerable individuals, were found aboard a Turkish cargo ship destined for France. Although the initial report suggested a hijacking or piracy, investigations revealed no such threat. The Italian Ministry of Defense, which led a seven-hour rescue operation, faced criticism for its excessive response and its representative, Defense Minister Crosetto, was questioned for the misleading report. This incident has been viewed as reflective of the increasingly criminalizing attitude towards migrants in Europe, and particularly in Italy.
- The 15 individuals found on the Turkish ship, including a pregnant woman, a woman in critical condition, a man with a broken ankle, and two hypothermic minors, were all migrants and asylum-seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
- Despite initial reports of a potential hijacking or piracy situation, sources and investigators have found no evidence of violence, threat, or attempts to take over the ship. The official investigation’s results are still to be released.
- Italy’s Ministry of Defense has faced criticism for what is considered an “overreaction”, with a seven-hour military rescue operation. The Defense Minister defended the actions, citing standard procedures in response to perceived threats.
- Andrew Geddes, a Professor of Migration Studies, highlighted this incident as indicative of the increasingly criminalizing attitude of European governments, including Italy, towards migrants.
- The incident has sparked discussions on European migration policy, with a recent survey showing that 43% of Italians consider migrants a danger to personal safety, a figure that has increased in recent years. This sentiment aligns with the political interests of Italy’s ruling right-wing coalition.