World Bulletin/News Desk
The kidnapping of Turkish consulate staff in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul by militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- or ISIL -- has drawn worldwide condemnation.
The international community, including officials from the European Union and the European countries denounced the abduction and called for the release of those kidnapped.
The self-styled ISIL raided Turkey's Mosul consulate on Wednesday and abducted 49 Turkish nationals, including the consulate's staff and their families, after they assumed control of the city -- Iraq's second biggest -- in the northern province of Nineveh.
The abductees are "ok" and "safe," according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
EU's Foreign & Security Policy Chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said in a written statement that the European bloc reiterates its strong condemnation of the raid on the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul, as well as the abduction of 31 Turkish drivers in a power plant in the Gyarah region of Mosul.
"These abductions demonstrate the gravity of the security situation in Iraq, in particular in the Mosul area," said the spokesperson.
Kocijancic voiced full support for Turkey's efforts to ensure its citizens' safe release and said the EU stands ready to help Turkey.
During his visit to southeastern Turkey on Friday, Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Stefano Manservisi, maintained that the EU shared the concerns of Turkey and the Turkish people, hoping for the immediate release of the abducted Turkish citizens.
He also expressed concerns over the possibility that the recent incidents in Mosul could affect the Turkey's solution process that began early last year with a ceasefire between the Turkish government and PKK terrorist organization.
Spokesperson for the German Federal Government Steffen Seibert also vehemently condemned the kidnapping, and said the region was facing an "open terrorist threat."
French and Spanish Foreign Ministry voiced their condemnation for the raid on Turkish consulate and abduction of its personnel and urged for the immediate release of the abductees, offering cooperation with Turkey.
Hungarian Foreign Ministry also "resolutely" condemned the "terrorist actions" as unacceptable.
Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) -- which held a two-day plenary session in the presence of its members Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Azeri capital Baku-- also decried the attack and the kidnapping, stressing the need to develop cooperation against terrorism.
Meanwhile, Turkish aid organization Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) announced that they launched efforts to provide aid for the Mosul refugee families who take shelter in northern Iraq after fleeing from the city that fell into the hands of ISIL militants.
Iraq faces a major security threat as the army has looked unable to contain ISIL insurgency moving south toward capital Baghdad. Kurdish Peshmerga forces regained control of Kirkuk province on Wednesday after the ISIL seized parts of the city, which remains disputed among the central government and northern Kurdish administration.
ISIL militants captured another city besides Mosul in Nineveh province, Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit -- 140 km northwest of capital Baghdad -- as well as towns of Samarra and Tuz Khormato, all three within Salahuddin province.
The ISIL has also held control of western Anbar province since early January.
More than 300,000 residents have fled Mosul since Friday mostly to the Kurdish-populated parts of the country, where they are hosted in refugee camps, following the ISIL's advances on the city.
Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2014, 22:32