Turkish workers ‘not kidnapped by ISIL, PKK’ in Iraq
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe kidnapping of 18 Turkish workers in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad was not the work of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu said on Sept. 3.
“What we know is that it is not [the work of] one of the terrorist organizations we are familiar with; it is not Daesh [ISIL] or the PKK,” Sinirlioğlu told media at the Turkish parliament.
Sinirlioğlu said they believed the kidnapped workers were in “good medical condition.”
Men in military uniform abducted a group consisting of 14 workers, three engineers and an accountant early on Sept. 2, after raiding the construction site Turkey-based Nurol Holding in Sadr city, a suburb of Baghdad.
Sinirlioğlu said efforts were ongoing to save the kidnapped Turkish work and the ministry was in contact with Baghdad authorities.
“We expect the issue to be resolved at the earliest. The Iraqi authorities also promised to help us,” he added.
Earlier on Sept. 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered Iraqi security forces to find the kidnapped Turkish workers.
He described the incident as part of a “campaign against reform in Iraq,” which he said was carried out by “terrorists.”
On June 11 last year, 49 Turkish hostages, including diplomats, consular officials and their families, were kidnapped from the Mosul consulate, a day after ISIL took control of Iraq’s second-largest city. The victims were later freed.
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since ISIL militants overran Mosul before capturing additional territory in both Iraq and neighboring Syria.