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Middle East
Detained Turks released by Syria
Two Turkish men detained in Syria and held for two months are on their way home after Iranian mediation.
Last Modified: 13 May 2012 04:13
Adem Ozkose, left, and Hamit Coskun, right, are said to be in good health [Reuters]

Two Turkish men who were detained for two months in Syria have arrived in Tehran following mediation by Iran, the Turkish foreign minister has announced.

In remarks on his Twitter account, Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, said that his government was sending a plane to bring Hamit Coskun and Adem Ozkose home.

Following their arrival in the Iranian capital on Saturday, Ozkose said: "We are here with IHH [Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation] officials. Hamit is also doing well. We are waiting for the day we will return to Turkey.

"We are thankful for everyone who has been praying for us. Hopefully, we will return home with prayers," he said.

The two men were last seen on March 9 near the opposition stronghold of Idlib, in the northwest near the border with Turkey.

The Turkish news agency Anatolia, quoting local Syrian sources and witnesses, reported that the two men were arrested by a pro-government armed group and then handed over to Syrian intelligence.

Coskun and Ozkose entered Syria in early March. They were filming a documentary on the crackdown on dissent in the country.

Ankara, a former close trade partner of Damascus, has called on the thousands of Turks who reside in Syria to leave the country.

More than 11,000 people have died in the unrest that began in March 2011, according to opposition activists.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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