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Turkish Defense Minister says hostages will soon be free

THE LEVANT – Turkey’s Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz has revealed that his government is still in talks with all Iraqi sides regarding freeing the captured Turkish Consul General in Mosul and the other 49 Consulate staff that were taken hostage by ISIS last June.

Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) militants kidnapped all the Turkish diplomatic staff in the consulate general in Mosul, including Consul-General Öztürk Yılmaz, as well as all the staff in the consulate.

“We are continuing to talk to all the related Iraqi sides so that the hostages can be freed and we have been assured that this will happen very shortly and they will come back to Turkey soon,” Defense Minister Yilmas said.

He also said that Ankara has spoken with all the Iraqi sides that have influence with ISIS and listened to them in regards to make an effort to help them free the hostages.

“They have told us to wait and they will be freed in the near future,” added the Turkish Minister.

The Turkish government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have come under pressure from the hostages’ families for not acting quickly and making serious efforts in trying to bring back the hostages safely to Turkey.

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