19-09-2021 07:45 AM Jerusalem Timing

Turkey Says Abducted Consulate Staff in Iraq "Safe"

Turkey Says Abducted Consulate Staff in Iraq

Turkish government had made contact by telephone with the hostages in Iraq and they had not been exposed to any bad treatment, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

ArincTurkish government had made contact by telephone with the hostages in Iraq and they had not been exposed to any bad treatment, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

"I hope we will get good news today, but the situation is still fragile," he said.

In a related context, Arinc added that Turkey received prior warning of the attack on its consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, defending Ankara's decision not to evacuate.

"We were more or less informed that ISIL was going to target our consulate while advancing (through Iraq)," Arinc said.

"Turkey had decided not to evacuate the building as they judged the security situation outside was worse."

Ankara said Thursday it was holding talks to secure the release of its abducted citizens, but Arinc denied claims that ISIL was among the parties it was negotiating with.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said 49 staff and family members abducted from the Turkish consulate in Iraq are safe, as efforts continue to ensure their release.