Saudi Arabian woman who was kidnapped in Turkey found

The woman was abducted after leaving a department store on the Asian side of Istanbul

A man poses as seagulls fight for food on the dockside at Karakoy Port in Istanbul on August 26, 2019.  / AFP / Ozan KOSE
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A young mother from Saudi Arabia who was kidnapped in Istanbul on Wednesday has been found and is in good health, the country's embassy has announced.

Saudi Arabia identified the woman as Abeer Al Anzi, and said she was abducted after leaving a department store on the Asian side of Istanbul, where she was on holiday with her family.

The Saudi Gazette reported that security surveillance cameras showed that a man who was carrying a small bottle sprayed Ms Al Anzi in the face with an unidentified substance. She then lost consciousness and the man carried her from the scene.

The woman's husband said she had left the hotel to buy a pair of shoes.

Arabic newspaper Asharq Al Awsat said it learnt  the tourist had been kidnapped by a Syrian gang, while other reports said that the abductors had asked for $150,000 (Dh550,000) in ransom money.

Her relatives then helped to set up a trap for the abductors, agreeing to meet them while tipping off the authorities about their location.

The incident happened days after two Saudi citizens were robbed at gunpoint in Istanbul's Sisli district, with one ending up in hospital with gunshot wounds,  Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mission in Turkey said.

No further information was given on the severity of the injury.

After the attack the kingdom urged citizens to take precautions during their stay and avoid going to the popular tourist areas of Sisli and Taksim Square after sunset.

In July, a similar alert was issued that advised those visiting Turkey to keep their belongings safe after a spate of passport thefts from Saudi tourists.

The number of it citizens visiting Turkey has declined by 33.2 per cent during the first six months of 2019,  said the Kingdom's media, which has designated the country as unsafe because of rising petty crime.