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Turkey opposition blames Erdogan for abduction of pilots

Press TV

Turkey’s opposition parties have blamed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the abduction of two Turkish pilots in Lebanon, Press TV reports.

“It was a policy of Turkey to have no problems with its neighbors, now we have a problem with Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. There is a serious problem with our foreign policy,” said opposition lawmaker, Faruk Bal.

On August 9, gunmen kidnapped the pilots in a pre-dawn ambush on a bus carrying members of a Turkish Airlines crew from Beirut airport to Beirut’s Radisson Martinez Hotel.

There are speculations that the abduction could be linked to the case of nine Lebanese – pilgrims who were kidnapped in Syria’s Aleppo in May 2012. Some of those pilgrims have been released, but most are still held captive.

Following the abduction, Turkish Foreign Ministry said, “Given the current situation, it is vital that our citizens avoid all travel to Lebanon.”

“We suggest that citizens who are still in Lebanon return to Turkey if they can, or if they have to remain, to take all measures to ensure their personal safety and be vigilant,” it added.

The ministry stated that Ankara expected the Lebanese government to take “all necessary measures” to ensure the safety of Turkish citizens in the country.

Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has been supporting militants fighting to topple the Syrian government since the Arab country plunged into unrest in March 2011…


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