Turkish drivers endured harsh conditions in captivity
İpek Yezdani HÜRRİYET / ISTANBUL
The released truck drivers arrive in Arbil. AA PhotoThe 32 Turkish citizens who had been kept hostage by the Islamic State (IS) for 23 days in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul endured harsh conditions, one of the captive drivers has said after their release.
“We waited in a closed place in the middle of the desert in temperatures like 55-60 C [131-140F] degrees. We slept on stones. We didn’t take baths. We were in a miserable condition. But by God, we were not mistreated [by the ISIL militants],” Turkish driver Salih Sürer told daily Hürriyet on the phone.
Sürer stressed that they were informed of the pending release by the militants only on July 3. “They confiscated our trucks and put us into a vehicle,” he added, saying they were first taken to a town near Iraq’s border with Iran, and then to Mahmur.
“One of our friends, whose name was Ramazan, had a heart attack on the way. He was taken from Mahmur by an ambulance to a hospital in Arbil,” Sürer said. “After we were interrogated at the police station in Mahmur, we were sent to Arbil Airport for our return to Turkey,” he added.