Seizing diplomatic missions and taking diplomats hostage is no ordinary event. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, however, has been doing its utmost to play down the seizure of the country’s consulate in Mosul on June 11 — by radical Sunni extremists on the day they took control of the city — and the hostage taking of 49 consulate workers including the consul general.
Naci Koru, Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, for example, argued on June 15 that the Turkish diplomats are “no hostages.” “We do not believe that [our diplomats] have been taken hostage,” he said. “If they were taken hostage, there would have been negotiations over the conditions to take them back. They are not asking for anything in return [for safely releasing the Turkish diplomats].”