Regime forces capture Turkish journalist
BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto, an award-winning reporter who worked for Tokyo-based independent news wire Japan Press, is seen in this undated photo transmitted by Kyodo news agency in Tokyo August 21, 2012. REUTERS Photo
A Turkish journalist has reportedly been captured by Syrian al-Assad regime loyalists near Aleppo while covering Syria’s civil war.
“The shabiha [pro-regime militiamen] captured a journalist and a cameraman working for Al-Hurra,” the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander in Aleppo province, Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, told Agence France-Presse. “The Arab journalist was injured when he was captured, but the Turk was not.”
Turkish Foreign Ministry officials could not immediately confirm whether cameraman Cüneyt Ünal had been captured.
No verified information
There is no verified information as to Ünal’s whereabouts, and the ministry is still working on the issue, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s press counselor Osman Sert posted on his Twitter account.
Ünal was working for U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra television. The station said it had lost contact with two of its employees working in Syria on Aug. 20, including Ünal, and they had reportedly been traveling with Mika Yamamoto, another journalist who was killed in the ongoing clashes in the country. Yamamoto’s body has been transferred to Turkey, where Japanese consular officials were providing assistance.
Meanwhile, another Turkish national, Abdulbasit Arslan, who was kidnapped in Beirut last week, is being held by the families of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims who were seized in Syria in May. “We obtained information that the families of the 11 abducted men kidnapped Arslan,” an official source told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat yesterday, according to the Naharnet website.