“You sold us to ISIS” Turkish former diplomat tells foreign minister

A Turkish former consul general to the Iraqi city of Mosul who was taken hostage Islamic State (ISIS) in June 2014 and held for 101 days told Turkey’s foreign minister he had sold him and other diplomats to the extreme jihadist group, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

“While I was taken as a hostage in Mosul, you sold us to ISIS,” Öztürk Yılmaz, who has since become the vice chairman of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in response to insinuations that he had acted in a cowardly way after the storming of the consulate. The angry debate took place during a meeting of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission.

Yılmaz was taken hostage in June 2014 and held for 101 days along with 48 other diplomats after ISIS militants took over Mosul. He was released under undisclosed circumstances by the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in September 2014.

Yılmaz had criticised the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for its policy of supporting elements of the Syrian opposition.

“You say moderate opposition in Idlib, then why are you protecting a 25,000-person opposition jihadist group? Why are you acting as a guarantor for them? You did the same thing in Aleppo and you were defeated and you will be defeated there as well,” Yılmaz was quoted as saying.

“You tried to hide that you were the consul general of Mosul to rescue yourself from ISIS during their raid. How many times did you knock on my door to become an ambassador?” said Çavuşoğlu instead of answering Yılmaz’s questions.

“You are completely lying and besmirching me,” Yılmaz said in response. “We came to these positions rightfully. I guess you confused me with others. I did not gain my position by being a toady unlike you.”

After the argument, CHP commission members left the meeting to protest Çavuşoğlu’s language and tone, the newspaper said.