JERUSALEM (May. 19)
Proof that kidnaped Israeli Consul General Ephraim Elrom was still alive in Turkey today was disclosed in Istanbul, according to a report from that capital. In a handwritten letter delivered to his wife by an unidentified messenger, Elrom wrote in English: “Dear Elsa: I am with the Turkish People’s Liberation Army. I am OK. Do not worry. Love, Ephraim.” The handwriting was positively identified by Istanbul experts as that of Elrom, who was abducted at his apartment Monday by eight armed men although it had “obviously” been dictated by Elrom’s captors. The experts said the “moderate” tone of the note raised hopes that the diplomat would eventually be freed. Mrs. Elrom, on receiving the message, drafted a return letter asking the kidnapers for mercy. She wrote: “I am a bereaved mother. I have lost my only son under very tragic circumstances (in a plane crash near Tel Aviv two years ago). All I have left is my husband. I assume you also have parents and wives and will understand my feelings. I beg of you, let my husband go.” There is a complete blackout in Istanbul on official efforts to trace and release Elrom. A spokesman for the Turkish police said the matter should be left to them, as they had proved in the past that they could cope with such situations. The spokesman said he was aware that the kidnapers had threatened to kill Elrom unless “all revolutionary guerrillas under detention presently are set free,” but he declared that Turkey would never submit to terrorist blackmail.