Two Turkish pilots, who were abducted in Lebanon last August, have appeared in a new video showing them alive and in good health.
In the video aired by the Lebanese television station, LBCI, on Tuesday, Murat Akpinar, one of the two pilots, said “Today is 14th October 2013, there is only one day before Bayram(Eid). I would like to be at my home. I am fine. " His co - pilot, Murat Agca, said, “I’m safe and sound. I miss my family, my children and my country. ” On August 9, Lebanon’s Interior Ministry said Akpinar and Agca, were abducted by gunmen in the capital Beirut.
“A kidnapping operation took place at 3:00 a. m. targeting a bus carrying several members of a Turkish Airlines crew going from the airport to the hotel, ” said Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
After the incident, Lebanese authorities launched an investigation into the details of the abduction, and security forces were deployed near the scene of the incident. Also, Turkish Foreign Ministry said, “Given the current situation, it is vital that our citizens avoid all travels to Lebanon.” The ministry stated that Ankara expected the Lebanese government to take "all necessary measures" to ensure the safety of Turkish citizens in the country. On August 30, in a recorded video message, Akpinar said, “We are … waiting for help in our case so that we would be released soon,” adding, “We salute our country and we want to tell our families that we miss them.” The abduction was seen as related to the case of 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims who were kidnapped by foreign-backed militants in Syria’s Aleppo province in May 2012. Some of those pilgrims have been released, but most are still held captive. Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been supporting militants fighting to topple the Syrian government since the Arab country plunged into unrest in March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.