Iran may let Turkey see captured sailors

Turkish PM meets with Iranian FM, says diplomats may be allowed to visit.

erdogan 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
erdogan 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Turkish diplomats may be allowed to meet with the 15 British servicemen who were seized by Iran, a Turkish television station quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Wednesday. Erdogan met with Iranian Foreign Minister Minister Manouchehr Mottaki before an Arab leaders summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and later told reporters that Teheran may allow Turkish diplomats to meet with the sailors and Marines, CNN-Turk television reported. "It may be possible for Turkish diplomats to see the 15 British" troops, Erdogan was quoted as saying. He did not give a time frame, however, the report said. Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister of Turkey, which has close relations with both Britain and neighboring Iran, told reporters Tuesday that Ankara was in touch with Teheran over the captured servicemen. He made the statement during a joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett who was in Turkey on an official visit. She cut short the visit on Tuesday to return to London to make a statement to Parliament. In Ankara, Beckett called for the speedy release of the British troops and said London was seeking consular access to them. Iran's Foreign Ministry has insisted the Britons were operating in Iranian waters, while Britain insists they were in Iraqi waters when they finished a routine search of a civilian vessel. Iran said the 15 British sailors and Marines were being treated well, but refused to say where they were being held or rule out the possibility that they could be brought to trial for allegedly entering Iranian waters.