Mosul hostage diplomat applies to CHP to run for Turkish parliament
AA photoTurkey’s former consul-general Öztürk Yılmaz, who was among 49 people kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for 101 days, has officially applied to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to run for parliament in the November elections.
Yılmaz, whose last position was as Turkey’s ambassador to Tajikistan, resigned from the post earlier this week. He came to the CHP headquarters early on Sept. 3 to officially apply to run in the upcoming snap poll. He was accompanied by CHP Deputy Head Gürsel Tekin.
Yılmaz said he was hoping to represent his hometown, the southeastern city of Ardahan, at parliament after the election.
“It’s a democratic right, a citizenship right. Being interested in politics is the right of everyone living in the Republic of Turkey. So I am moving to another area where I can be more productive. This is very normal decision, a decision taken by all members of my family,” he said.
Responding to a question about 18 Turkish construction workers recently kidnapped in Iraq, Yılmaz said he knew how difficult the situation for the family members of these workers must be, after his own family suffered the same for 101 days.
“This is a very sensitive issue. Let’s pray for their health. I know that all necessary works are being conducted,” he said.
The former consul-general said he was not planning to discuss in detail the 101 days of his captivity at the hands of ISIL, despite resigning from the diplomatic service and entering politics.
“Because this was a major tragedy. We suffered it as a family and as the entire country. So this has to remain in the past, we now have to look to the future,” Yılmaz added.
Tekin, for his part, said Yılmaz will be very beneficial for the CHP with his experience in foreign policy, especially regarding the Middle East.