Turkey’s Islamist president refused to quell growing concern Sunday over how he obtained the release of 49 hostages from jihadist fighters in Iraq.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former prime minister who became the country’s first directly elected president last month, denied that he had paid a ransom for the diplomats and their families, who were seized when jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Al-Sham overran Mosul in June.
He said only that the release came about through “negotiations.” “A bargain for money is totally out of the question,” he said. “There were only diplomatic and political negotiations. And this is a diplomatic victory.”
The negotiations over the hostages, who were flown in triumph to the capital Ankara from the Turkish border with Syria on Saturday, had been surrounded by speculation.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images
Mr. Erdogan has been increasingly attacked for not having done enough to seal Turkey’s…
View original post 390 more words