Sadikoglu, who was seized on 19 December, spent the night at a British base in southern Iraq and was due to head home to Turkey on Tuesday, the spokesman said on Tuesday.

 

An unconfirmed report in the Vatan newspaper said Sadikoglu's family had paid a ransom of $500,000 for the shipping magnate's release.

 

The group that kidnapped him had reportedly demanded $20 million.

 

Ten Turkish construction workers were captured in September 2004, but released unharmed a month later.