The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) stands to gain an office in Ankara after its successful intervention in the Egyptian embassy siege in the Turkish capital.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) stands to gain an office in Ankara after its successful intervention in the Egyptian embassy siege in the Turkish capital. Four members of a fringe group called the Eagles of the Palestine Liberation gave themselves up after holding thirteen embassy staff hostage for forty-five hours.
SYNOPSIS: Soon after the four gunmen stormed the Egyptian Embassy on Friday morning (13 July), the complex was surrounded by scores of troops and medical personnel. They adopted waiting tactics, which proved successful -- two hostages soon escaped and reached a Turkish command post in a building opposite.
These two embassy staff were the first to get away unharmed, but no all were as lucky. Two more took a desperate plunge from a second-storey window -- one man died and the other was seriously injured.
The army sprayed water on the embassy windows to allow troops to retrieve the two men. the siege cost three lives -- the guerrillas shot two policemen guarding the embassy when they stormed the building on Friday morning.
The following day, a PLO negotiating team arrived to try to persuade the guerrillas to give themselves up. And the first response to PLO overtures was the release of three women hostages.
Then -- after forty-five hours -- the guerrillas appeared behind the embassy windows and marched their hostages onto the balcony. The gunmen laid down their arms and -- shouting slogans -- surrendered. There was some surprise when only six hostages emerged, but officials said all had been accounted for. One released hostage -- Egyptian First Secretary Mohammed Veli -- said the Palestinians had treated them well. There was no violence.
When the gunmen surrendered, they were taken to an official government residence to be transferred later to a military garrison in Ankara. Police said the guerrillas were under arrest, and, if brought to trial, could face the death penalty.
Among the last six to be freed was Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Kamal Ama. His government gave Turkey the go-ahead to storm the Embassy as a last resort. But Turkish Prime minister Bulent Ecevit said the PLO efforts had cancelled out the need to make such an assault.