Russian Foreign Ministry Calls On Turkish Authorities To Punish Terrorists That Captured Hostages In Istanbul Hotel

The Russian Foreign Ministry is calling on Turkish authorities to take necessary steps in accordance with the Turkish law to punish the terrorists who took people hostage at an Istanbul hotel today, reads a statement by the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Yakovenko. The document stresses that Russia is concerned over the fact that the operation was led by terrorist recidivist Muhammet Tokcan. In January 1996, he led the capture of the Avrasia ferry and was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, in December 2000, Turkish authorities granted him amnesty. The statement says that the Russian Foreign Ministry was satisfied with the news of the hostages' liberation and the terrorists' surrender to the police. The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed gratitude to Turkish authorities for maintaining close contact in this dangerous situation with the Russian Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul.

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