Gül, Erdoğan say efforts continuing to rescue kidnapped consulate officials
AA PhotoEfforts to rescue Turkish nationals who were kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last month are ongoing, President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan both said in Eid al-Fitr messages early July 28.
“Without question, we wanted our kidnapped consulate officials in Mosul to be with their families during Eid al-Fitr and we worked hard for it. Unfortunately this did not happen,” Gül said, celebrating the officials and their families’ “sad” Eid al-Fitr. “If God wills it, they will meet their families safe and sound. We have been working for it.”
Gül also expressed his sorrow for the Muslims suffering from conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Gaza, saying he prayed to God to give peace to the entire Muslim world during these holy days.
Speaking after performing prayers at Eid, Erdoğan said the efforts were proceeding carefully to rescue the nationals in an effort to prevent them from coming to harm during the current delicate period.
“We are considering some sensibilities in order to rescue our brothers safe and sound. They could be hurt if we miss [that point]. This is the reason for the delay,” he said.
ISIL kidnapped 49 people from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on June 11, including 46 Turkish nationals. The hostages were moved to another place in the city three weeks ago, but are still being kept together without being separated, according to Turkish diplomats. Officials have not dismissed the possibility that ISIL is holding the Turks as a “human shield,” as the group has not presented any specific demands for their release.
Erdoğan also touched on the detentions of the police officers as part of operations into the “parallel state,” saying the probe would continue with the information gained during the process.
“There is no stepping back from this point. It was a [plot] which threatened our national security,” he said.