Christian Priest Kidnapped In S.East Turkey

A Syriac Christian priest has been kidnapped in southeast Turkey and police have launched an operation to secure his release, security officials said on Wednesday.
They said the priest, 55-year-old Daniel Savci, was from the Mor Yakup monastery near the town of Midyat and was kidnapped on Wednesday.

An official at the monastery said an unknown person had called the monastery and said they sought a ransom for the priest’s release. CNN Turk television said the assailants had ambushed the priest in his car as he travelled to the Mor Yakup church.

Most of Turkey’s 75 million people are Muslim and it has barely 100,000 Christians, mostly of Greek and Armenian origin. The community has been the target of attacks in the last two years.

Three Christians, two Turks and a German, had their throats slit by youths who burst into their Bible publishing house in the southeastern town of Malatya in April.

Turkish Armenian writer Hrant Dink was murdered in Istanbul in January by a young nationalist gunman and an Italian Catholic priest was killed in his church by a youth in Trabzon in 2006.