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Reports: Turkish Shipping Magnate Kidnapped in Iraq


Unidentified kidnappers are demanding a $25-million ransom for a Turkish shipping magnate they abducted in Iraq. That's according to a Turkish television channel, which aired video footage of the businessman saying he was captured several days ago.

Kahraman Sadikoglu says in the video that he was abducted together with a boat captain and driver, both Turkish nationals, as well as his body guard in the southern Iraq port city of Umm Qasr . Mr. Sadikoglu is among Turkey's best known and most controversial shipping magnates, whose numerous hobbies include collecting antique Rolls Royce cars.

Mr. Sadikoglu was shown on Turkish television being interrogated by unseen kidnappers. Mr.

Sadikoglu told the camera he had been seized four or five days ago, and that he had done nothing wrong. He said he had brought food to Iraq, and fed many hungry people. Mr. Sadikoglu said his captors were treating him well.

Mr. Sadikoglu's family appealed to the Turkish Foreign Ministry for help, saying they had not heard from him for days, and that the kidnappers had demanded a $25-million ransom.

Turkish officials say the businessman was nabbed, as he traveled from Iran to Iraq. They say they have requested assistance from U.S. officials in Iraq to help locate Mr. Sadikoglu.

Mr. Sadikoglu is the head of the Dubai-based International Marine Contractors, which won a $25-million tender to retrieve 19 sunken ship from Umm Qasr. Mr. Sadikoglu was bidding for another United Nations contract worth 90-million dollars to retrieve more sunken ships off the coast of southern Iraq.