Monday, June 04, 2012

Snatched off the bus.

I was miffed that I was unable to go on holiday to Egypt because I was admitted to hospital. I have always enjoyed my foreign holidays and loved to potter about wherever we stayed. In the past we have had holidays in Turkey and I really used to enjoy travelling on their local bus services. These buses were called a dolmus, were of various seating capacities and provided very cheap, high frequency services all over Turkey. The fares were peanuts and it was great to travel about with the locals. It really added to the holiday experience as you felt as though you went to the real Turkey rather than be processed like a tourist. I never had any problems whatsoever and could recommend a "day out on the Dolmus" to anyone, just look at the map and go for it.

What a shock I got tonight when I switched on the internet and read this report from AFP ...

Briton kidnapped by Kurd rebels in Turkey is freed

(AFP) – 10 hours ago


A British tourist who was kidnapped by Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey at the weekend was freed on Monday, officials in London and Turkey said. The 35-year-old man was described as being in good health and is to be taken to the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir for brief questioning about his ordeal, a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity. The Briton was snatched on Saturday by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who had stopped the bus he was travelling in between the Black Sea city of Trabzon and Diyarbakir. In London, a spokesman for the Foreign Office confirmed his release, but declined to disclose his identity. "He has since been in touch with his family in the UK. Embassy officials are speaking to him and are offering consular assistance," the spokesman told AFP. "The British ambassador in Ankara, David Reddaway, would like to express his gratitude to the Turkish authorities in securing his release." No details were immediately available about the circumstances of the release. Saturday's abduction came amid an upsurge in activity by the rebel group, which last month kidnapped 10 people from a village in the Kurd-dominated southeast. The motive was unknown.

...Thankfully the 35 year old British tourist was released and is in good health with one hell of a tale to tell his work mates when he gets back home! Still, it would not put me off travelling on a Dolmus, maybe I should buy a Kurdish phrase book just in case.
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