Turkish PM hails 49 abductees, criticizes opposition for provocations
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu kissed Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz on his forehead after the arrivalTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu hailed the dignified stance Turkish hostages showed during their 101 days of ISIL captivity and thanked them for not losing their hope while reiterating his criticisms toward the opposition for allegedly exploiting the hostage crisis during the pre-election campaign.
“My brother Öztürk [Yılmaz, Turkey’s consul general in Mosul], my colleague at the same time, and his staff waited in dignity and strength. They did not bow; they stood erect. In full conscience of what they represent, they have always trusted in their state and people who stood behind them. Today, they are with us. This is the last day of patient and honorable waiting,” Davutoğlu said in his address to people gathered at Esenboğa Airport.
Along with Davutoğlu, Yılmaz and his family members were also seen on top of a bus belonging to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). More than 1,000 people were flocked to the airport to greet the arrival of Turkish hostages after 101 days of abduction at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“I thank them all; I hug them on behalf of you. I kiss them on their forehead,” he said.
Davutoğlu said it was a fest for all the country from Artvin to Edirne, stressing, “We have been dreaming of them, thinking about them for the last three months.”
Claiming that there were those who tried to provoke the families of the hostages and those who argued that the government would use the crisis for electoral gain before the Aug. 10 presidential polls, Davutoğlu said this was the day when this “political operation and its perpetrators were unmasked.”
“I call on these provocateurs. I know those who forced us to make statements on this issue just to show their opposition and at the expense of endangering the lives of these people. I call on them: At least today come and share this happiness. Leave speculations behind,” he said.
Davutoğlu expressed his special thanks to what he called “numerous unnamed heroes” who worked relentlessly to provide freedom for the hostages. “There are so many unnamed heroes who brought our citizens to Turkey last night, perhaps you will never see their faces. I salute these unnamed heroes. May God bless them.”
Call on international community
Davutoğlu also called on the international community to act to end the ongoing tragedy in the region and end their silence on the massacres committed in Syria.
“We as a strong country were able to bring our brothers home. But there are those who cannot go home. Around one and half million Syrians are refugees in Turkey. There are those who came to us from Kobane, and much before from Iraq, Syria.. Arabs, Turkmens, Kurds, Yazidis and our Christian brothers.. Who will defend them? “It’s time for the international community to act,” he said.