Efforts to release kidnapped Turks continue

Volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi Army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants who have taken over Mosul and other northern provinces, travel in army trucks in Baghdad June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Turkey said on June 14 works to release of its 80 citizens kidnapped by the jihadists in Mosul are being carried out with great care and that it intensified its efforts for the evacuation of Turkish citizens in different parts of Iraq.

The statement was issued by the Iraq Crisis Desk established by the Foreign Ministry upon the decision given by the government at a meeting on June 13. The crisis desk is expected to issue two statements every day to inform the public opinion about the developments in Iraq with emphasis on the kidnapped Turkish citizens.

After the crisis desk issued this statement, President Abdullah Gül convened a meeting June 14 afternoon with the participation of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, head of the intelligence organization Hakan Fidan, deputy Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güner and other senior officials to discuss Turkish efforts for the release of 80 abducted Turkish citizens. The meeting lasted 1,5 hours with no statement.

Turkey’s Consul-General in Mosul, Öztürk Yıldırım and other 48 persons have been abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on June 12, a day after 31 Turkish truck drivers were kidnapped by the same group.

According to the International Migration Organization, around 500,000 people fled Mosul since the clashes commenced on June 6, the crisis desk said, adding scarcity of water, food and electricity was making life conditions in the country’s second-largest city very difficult.

Clashes continue in Kirkuk, Selahaddin, Diyala and Anbar provinces, it said, informing that 7,000 to 10,000 Turkish citizens are believed to be in Iraq’s 15 provinces other than the Kurdistan Regional Government region where there are...

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