Rescued Turkish Consul General of Mosul, Özturk Yılmaz, said the hostages managed to hide a cell phone from the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Syria and Sham (ISIS) to coordinate with Ankara since day one of their captivity.
Speaking to a private broadcaster Saturday after the rescue of 49 hostages held by ISIS for more than three months, Yılmaz said he managed to hold "long phone conversations" with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu through that hidden cell phone.
Yılmaz said their captors made hostages watch the beheading videos of American and British citizens.
"We overcame the fear of death since day one; beheading of journalists by ISIS never scared us," said Yılmaz, denouncing the beheading of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines as "cruelty."
"They made us watch the beheadings. There is no reason to kill like this, not for any religion or political thought," he said.
Yılmaz said there was a scuffle in his office during the raid day, June 11, when militants seized the consulate staff.
"A friend of ours helped with his sloppy Arabic speaking and explained the situation. We did not let any kind of video recording to put our country in a hard position," he said.
The Consul General said ISIS changed the hostages' location several times during their 101-day captivity.
"ISIS's main strategy is that they don't want to keep the hostages at the same place for a long time," Yılmaz said. "Because Turkey is a strong country and have a strong intelligence agency, we were relocated eight or nine times."
He underscored that the rescue operation was a success that belongs solely to Turkey.
"We lost weight, did not eat time to time and could not make the militants provide basic needs to babies," said Yılmaz, adding that he lost 14 kilos during the captivity.
The 49 hostages - diplomats, consular officials and their families - were kidnapped from the Mosul consulate on June 11, a day after ISIS took control of Iraq's second-largest city.
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