Saturday, September 20, 2014

Turkish Hostages Freed by Islamic State

Forty-nine Turkish hostages seized by Islamic State militants were freed on Saturday in what the Turkish media describes as “a pre-planned covert operation by Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT).” (Today’s Zaman, 20 September)

The hostages were captured from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul on 11 June, when ISIL overran the city in its surge to seize large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

The circumstances surrounding the release of hostages were not entirely clear. The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the intelligence agency’s operation was not a special forces-type operation, but the hostages were freed through the agency’s “own methods.” Turkey’s state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency, reported no ransom had been paid. (AP, 20 September)

The hostages were handed to Turkish officials in early hours of Saturday, and were flown to Ankara’s airport. The families of the freed hostages waiting at the airport for their arrival, broke through security lines and rushed toward the plane to greet their loved ones.

Turkish Consul General in Mosul, Ozturk Yilmaz, was among the freed hostages and thanked official involved in his release, adding he had not seen his family for 102 days, and all he wanted was to go home with them.

Photo Credit: Turkey's Consul-General in Mosul Yılmaz Öztürk (L) waves hand to a crowd as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his wife, Sare, greet other freed hostages. (Mustafa Kirazlı/ Today's Zaman)


Brig.Gen.Basrawi (IQAF.ret) said...

Quote: "no ransom had been paid". I would take that statement with a grain of salt. The British and American hostages that were executed were not released simply because neither US nor UK were willing to negotiate with IS. Sad to say, but so long as this policy of not dealing with terrorists exists then chances for the remaining American or British hostages to be freed is non-existent. IS had hostages from several different countries, most were set free after their respective governments had paid up. Anyways, warms ones heart to see these innocent people being returned to their loved ones.

Anonymous said...

The turkey hostage episode itself a falseflag operation of Turkey, to show a reasonability for not taking action against IS. However US & EU threat against IS finally compel turkey to end this mockery as no fight no blood shed carried out against IS Barbarians while releasing the hostage shows close connivance between them. Rizvi/India