World Bulletin / News Desk
Lebanese Shi'ite gunmen who kidnapped more than 20 people said on Thursday they would kill a Turkish hostage first if their kinsman captured by rebels in Syria was hurt and said they were looking to seize more Turkish citizens.
The Meqdad clan says it is seeking to put pressure on the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to release Hassan al-Meqdad by targeting both Syrians it says are part of the rebel force and citizens of Turkey, one of the rebels' regional sponsors. The clan is holding one Turk and the rest of its captives are Syrians.
The kidnapping has evoked memories of Lebanon's own civil war, reinforcing fears that the Syria conflict could trigger more instability in a much smaller neighbour where Damascus has had a major influence over politics and security for decades.
A member of the Meqdad family was quoted on Wednesday as saying citizens of Qatar and Saudi Arabia were also on their list of potential targets. In response, Gulf states ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon.
But Maher al-Meqdad, the spokesman for the clan, said the Meqdads were only targeting the FSA and Turks, adding that the number of Turkish captives "was likely to rise".
"If Hassan (al-Meqdad) is killed, the first hostage we will kill is the Turk," Maher al-Meqdad told Reuters.
"Regarding Saudis, Qataris and Gulf nationals, they are not targets for the Meqdad clan," said Maher al-Meqdad, speaking in an area of southern Beirut controlled by Hezbollah.
The clan says Hezbollah has nothing to do with the kidnappings.
The Turkish hostage was interviewed after his abduction on Wednesday by a Lebanese television channel. He said he had come to Lebanon for a business trip.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was in contact with the family of the kidnapped Turk, who it named as Aydin Tufan Tekin.
"Our ministry and Beirut Embassy are continuing intensive efforts to secure the release unharmed of our kidnapped citizen," it said in a statement released late on Wednesday
Meqdad said Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour had been in touch to seek the release of the Turk, but added that he would not be released until Hassan al-Meqdad was freed.
"Our adversary is only the Free Syrian Army," he said. "We want our relative."
Istanbul is preparing to mark the 1452 conquest of Istanbul, with the massive coastal Yenikapi meeting area to host conquest celebrations for the first time
Thursday's dailies covered a national airplane-construction project and corruption allegations within FIFA.
Most of Wednesday’s dailies cover Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks on the 'solution process'
Twenty members of suspected of Maoist Communist Party are believed to have attacked police during May 1 protests. They have been taken into custody by police on Wednesday.
Airport in Hakkari border province is named after Saladin, Kurdish-origin Muslim conqueror of al-Quds
As part of Cultural Diplomacy, the Pakistan Embassy in Ankara organized this year’s Chughtai Art Awards competition in the Konya province.
Most of Tuesday’s dailies cover Turkish President Erdogan’s response to a New York Times’s editorial and Galatasaray’s Turkish Super League title win
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the New York times in an editorial, telling them not to meddle with Turkey's affairs.
WFER will be milestone for Turkey's energy sector to promote importance as global energy player: Energy watchdog head
Maggie Bogda was smoking outside a bar in Istanbul’s Besiktas district when a gunman, who was refused entry inside, opened fire, local reports say
President Erdogan's remarks come amid easing of tensions between the two sides of the disputed island
Monday’s papers cover Turkish PM's election rallies and the narrowing race for the Turkish Super League title
AK Party MP candidate Ramazan Demir was injured in knife attack in Turkey's south-central province of Adana
A new platform dock for the Turkish Naval Forces has become the most expensive defense project to be attempted in Turkey.
Turkey will host the Sixth World Forum on Energy Regulation and it is hoped it will be bridge for energy regulators from different parts of world.
Turkish dailies on Friday covered CHP's unveiling of a new campaign promise- to create a new megacity - and reported on the opening of a new space center in Ankara.