Captive Turkish diplomat resisted ISIL with gun to his head
Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz's face was noticeably bruised when he arrived back in Turkey.One of the Turks who was freed Sept. 20 from the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has said Turkey's consul general in Mosul, Öztürk Yılmaz, resisted the group's demands by risking his life.
"Our consul general faced great difficulty. Two or three times, [the ISIL militants] tried to force him to make a statement by putting a gun to his head. But despite being at gunpoint, he didn't do anything they wanted," the freed Turk told broadcaster CNNTürk on the airplane that transported the released captives from Şanlıurfa to Ankara.
"They were forcing us to be filmed since the first day, but our consul general said, 'You can shoot me, but I won't allow you to meddle with the pride of Turkey,' risking his life," Derviş Öztürk told CNNTürk correspondent Gülşen Coşkun.
Alptekin Esirgün, another freed captive, confirmed Öztürk's account about the consul general. "He didn't release a statement despite the fact they put a gun to his head. He managed the process well," Esirgün said.
"Certainly, some things happened," another hostage in the airplane told Coşkun, when asked if the Turkish captives suffered from torture or maltreatment at the hands of the ISIL militants.
Alparslan Yel, a security official who was taken captive, said the Turks were treated relatively better than the other hostages, because they were Muslims. "Still, we were not comfortable, as there was a war going on outside," he said, according to Turkey's semi-official Anadolu Agency.
Other freed hostages declined to comment, stressing that the authorities had asked them not to speak to the media regarding the conditions of their captivity.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu congratulated Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz at the airport on Sept. 20. (AA photo)