18 Turkish workers kidnapped in Baghdad

18 Turkish workers kidnapped in Baghdad

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
18 Turkish workers kidnapped in Baghdad

AP photo

Masked men in military and police uniforms kidnapped 18 Turkish workers and engineers in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sept. 2. Turkish nationals were selected from a group of workers during the incident, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç told reporters. 

The workers and engineers from Nurol Holding were kidnapped from a construction site of a stadium in Baghdad’s Sadr City district.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the 18 Turkish nationals were kidnapped and said it was in contact with Iraqi authorities regarding the incident.

Bilgiç said that 14 of the kidnapped citizens were workers, three of them engineers and one an accountant.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also confirmed the kidnapping on Sept. 2, adding that Turkey had already contacted Iraqi officials about the incident. 

“It’s still a very fresh development. We don’t have detailed information,” Kurtulmuş told reporters. 

“Iraqi officials do not know how the incident happened and who perpetrated it,” he added.

The company officials suspect that the workers were kidnapped for ransom money, but there is no clear indication yet, a Turkish official who asked to be anonymous told Hürriyet Daily News. 

The official also said there is no possibility that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members could be the kidnappers, as the area is under the control of Baghdad.