ISTANBUL, Turkey – A Turkish businessman who was kidnapped in front of a Baghdad (search) hotel in January was freed by his captors Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Abdulkadir Tanrikulu (search) was taken to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad after his release and preparations were being made for his return home, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Turkish civil servants are rarely permitted to speak on the record.
Tanrikulu, who reportedly ran a construction company that worked with the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, was abducted Jan. 13. Gunmen attacked a minibus as it pulled up to a hotel to take him to a construction site. Militants killed the bus driver and five of Tanrikulu's Iraqi employees, then sped off with their captive.
Insurgents have kidnapped more than 200 foreigners in Iraq (search). At least five kidnapped Turks — most of them truck drivers — have been killed by their captors, while 36 others were freed or escaped. Scores of Turkish truck drivers have been killed by gunmen while transporting goods into the country.
Among those still held is another Turkish businessman, Ali Musluoglu, 48, who was kidnapped in Baghdad last month. In a video, Musluoglu's captors threatened to kill him if his family's transportation company did not halt its work in Iraq.