500 Turkish truck drivers stuck in Iraq over ISIL risks
İdris Emen ISTANBUL
DHA PhotoNearly 500 Turkish truckers carrying export goods bound for Iraq have been stuck in the northern province of Kirkuk for a month over security threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to drivers.
Drivers, who have been kept on the Kirkuk-Baghdad road, said Iraqi authorities are refusing to unload the goods over concerns about ISIL.
“We have been left here starving and we don’t have any safety,” Vahap Eterkül, one of the drivers, told Radikal.
Eterkül said he departed from the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep 15 days ago carrying oil, but authorities have been holding back amid fighting with ISIL militants on the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad.
He said there were drivers that had been waiting for over a month and that they were suffering from a lack of food and water.
“Some 32 of our friends were taken hostage by ISIL; we want to go home to avoid the same thing,” he said.
ISIL abducted 32 Turkish trucker drivers in Mosul in July but released them after 23 days in captivity.