Turkey has been a cause for alarm in the West. It’s taken over Christian churches, it’s backed Islamic jihad on its borders, and there’s even been talk of its president, Tayyip Recep Erdogan, envisioning the restoration of the Ottoman Empire, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Now the regime is being accused of running its international diplomacy through “hostage-taking.”
In the most recent incident, two Greek soldiers stepped across the border during a snowstorm. Others include German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, French journalist Loup Bureau and American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson.
“All were imprisoned in Turkey on trumped-up terrorism-related charges,” comments Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut, who is based in Washington, D.C.
In a piece for the Gatestone Institute, he cited Freedom House project director Nate Schenkkan’s comment that “Turkish hostage-taking has become one of the most pressing problems in relations between Ankara and its Western allies.”
“It is something that everyone knows is happening, but political leaders and diplomats are reluctant to call it by its name,” Bulut wrote.
The most recent confrontation developed March 2 when two Greek soldiers were arrested on suspicion of espionage and jailed in Turkey.
Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis were arrested in the small space between Turkish and Greek guard posts.
The soldiers explained “they had simply strayed a few meters in the thick forest, due to the poor weather conditions. They had difficulty seeing where they were going, and so followed tracks in the snow.”
Turkey refused pleas for their release.