Syriac Priest Abducted

Country: Turkey

Date of incident: November 1, 2007

A priest from the Syriac Christian community has been kidnapped in southeast Turkey.

Edip Daniel Savci's car was reportedly found abandoned near Midyat town in Mardin province. A local clergyman had received a phone call demanding a ransom for his release, the Anatolia news agency said. Turkish police are working to secure the release of the missing priest, security officials said. He regained his freedom two days later. The announcement that the cleric was free came from the governor of Mardin province Mehmet Kiliclar, who was quoted in the Anadolou news agency. Kidnappers had demanded € 300,000 for the cleric's return, but the money was not apparently paid because Turkish security forces were fast on the heels of both abductors and abductee. Attacks on Turkey's Christian minority have increased recently. A Catholic priest was shot dead last year and three Protestants were killed in April. Five men accused of the attack on the Protestant missionaries went on trial in the town of Malatya last week. Turkey's Syriac Christian community numbers an estimated 25,000 people and is based mainly in Mardin, in the largely Kurdish south-east, and in Istanbul. Syriac Christians are one of the faith's oldest denominations and are found in modern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Source: (november 29th, 2007),-Edip-Daniel-Savci-is-freed.html