ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Islamic militants fighting in Iraq to release 49 people seized from the Turkish consulate in Mosul, before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Erdogan appealed to the group, which calls itself the Islamic State, during a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner late on Wednesday. Ramadan ends on July 27 in Turkey.
The state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying: "If they are true believers they need to release our brothers. That's what we expect."
The Turks were seized from the consulate on June 11, when the group overran Mosul. They include diplomats, children and special forces police.
Thirty-two Turkish truck drivers also seized in Mosul were released last week.