Turkish gov't urged to designate ISIL a terrorist group

ANKARA - Turkey's main opposition has called on the government to declare the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant a terrorist organization. 

Speaking at a press conference in the party headquarters on Monday, lawmaker and spokesman for the Republican People's Party (CHP), Haluk Koc, said: "The ruling AK Party should declare ISIL a terror organization, otherwise the loss of reputation arising from Turkey's deterrence to do so will never be recovered."

His comments came after the rescue on Saturday of 49 hostages – 46 Turkish nationals including diplomats, consular officials and their families and three Iraqis - kidnapped from the Mosul consulate on June 11, a day after ISIL took control of Iraq's second-largest city.

The Turkish nationals arrived on Turkish soil hours after their rescue.

Koc said Turkey's "security vacuum" would lead to similar acts of impunity. 

He said: "It is the foremost duty of the Islamic world to struggle against this violent terror organization."

"As CHP, we are ready to give all kinds of political support, both internally and externally, to the government against ISIL."

ISIL, which already controls parts of Syria, has extended its reach into Iraq since June 10.

Violence conducted by ISIL has claimed more than 1,400 lives in Iraq, and caused 1.2 million Iraqis, including Turkmen, Arabs, Christians and Ezidis, to flee their homes.

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