| Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu|
Republican People's Party
| Republican People's Party|
Middle East Technical University
Middle East Technical University
Ardahan (Turkish general election, November 2015)
Selin Sayek Böke, Abdullah Ağar, Orhan Atalay, Gürsel Tekin, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
Öztürk Yılmaz (born 1969) is a former Turkish diplomat and politician from the Republican People's Party (CHP) who currently serves as a Member of Parliament for the electoral district of Ardahan since the November 2015 general election. Having served as the Turkish embassy secretary to Kyrgyzstan and Brazil, he was appointed as the Consul General of Turkey to Mosul in 2013. He was taken hostage in June 2014 and held for 101 days along with 48 other diplomats after Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants took over the city, being released under undisclosed circumstances by the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) on 20 September 2014.
Öztürk Yılmaz Wikipedia
Öztürk Yılmaz was born in 1969 in Ardahan, completing his early education there before graduating from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) Department of International Relations. He began working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996, serving as a manager in the departments responsible for the Balkans, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. He completed a masters degree in the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on the topic of European Union integration and development.
In his overseas diplomatic career, Yılmaz was first appointed as Secretary to the Turkish Ambasssy to Kyrgyzstan and later to Brazil. He also served as an Undersecretary to the Permanent Representation of Turkey to the European Union. On 13 July 2013, he was appointed as the Consul General of Turkey to Mosul, Iraq.
While serving as the Consul General in Mosul while the city was under the occupation of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces, Yılmaz and 48 other diplomatic staff and their family members were taken hostage by ISIL militants in June 2014. After 101 days and alleged negotiations between the government and ISIL, all 49 hostages were released and brought back to Turkey via Syria by the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in September 2014. The circumstances of their release was unspecified, though the government claimed that no operation had been carried out. Opposition politicians and journalists alleged that the government had paid a ransom to the militants to secure their release.
Although he was appointed as the Ambassador to Tajikistan on 1 September 2015 after he was freed from ISIL, he resigned from this position two days later on 3 September to stand for Parliament in the upcoming November 2015 general election as a Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate. His party of choice came as a surprise to many commentators because of an image of Yılmaz hugging Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Ahmet Davutoğlu shortly after being released from captivity in 2014. He was fielded as the CHP's top candidate in his hometown, the electoral district of Ardahan and was elected on 1 November 2015. He has since criticised the Turkish government's decision to send troops to Mosul to train Kurdish fighters against ISIL, an incursion that had resulted in the souring of relations between Turkey and Iraq.