A Christian business manager says he’s been targeted for a $1,000 ransom by Islamic extremists after writing an op-ed criticizing the group
Posted August 18, 2018 04:11:06 A Christian businessman in Turkey says he was threatened with a $200 ransom in the middle of the night after he criticized the Islamic State group.
The business manager of the Church of the Lukanic Faith, who has since left the country, told Vice News that he was approached by two men in the town of Tarlabat, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Istanbul, who offered him a $20,000 cash payment and demanded he pay the ransom in gold coins.
The businessman said he refused, and that he received a call the next day from the men saying he would be taken to a safe house and held hostage.
The men told him they were from the Islamic Court of the Zakat and that they had kidnapped him to force him to pay the money.
According to the businessman, he left Turkey in December after writing a letter to the Turkish authorities urging them to open an investigation into the group.
He said the two men who approached him said they would bring him to the Islamic Courts of the Tarlacı and ask him to surrender the money if he paid them.
According of the man, the men threatened him with death if he refused to pay.
The man was then kidnapped on the Turkish side of the border and released by the Turkish government.
He told VICE News that his wife was able to collect the money he had been promised in Turkey and sent it to his family in Istanbul, where he is now living.
He did not know who the men were or where they were headed, but that they were in the neighborhood of Mursitpinar.
The Christian businessman, who did not want to be named, said that he left his country in late October and is now traveling around Turkey, trying to find the money and returning to Turkey.
He described the men as middle-aged men who were wearing black clothes, and one of them had a gun in his hand.
He asked not to be identified because he feared retribution from the kidnappers.
“I left Turkey because I don’t know how to defend myself,” he said.
The owner of the business, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was not involved in the business or its management.
He is unsure how much money he has been given.
“It was a very difficult decision, because I am very scared,” he told VICE.
“They threatened me with death, but I don´t know where they got the money.”