World Bulletin / News Desk
Bulent Yildirim, the Chairman of the IHH Humanitarian Aid Foundation, on Wednesday said that "48 Iranians were released in Damascus's Duma region as 2,130 people, including women and children, began to be transferred by buses as part of a prisoner exchange mediated by Turkey and Qatar." 48 Iranians were held captive by the Syrian opposition.
In exchange for the 48 Iranians, the Syrian administration released 2,130 people, including many Turkish nationals on Wednesday.
The exchange continues on Wednesday as prisoners are being transferred by vehicles.
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA), Bulent Yildirim stressed that "48 Iranians were released in Damascus's Duma region on Wednesday. IHH official Izzet Sahin is accompanying the Iranians. In exchange, 2,130 people, including women and children, began to be transferred by buses after being kept at the Syrian Interior Ministry."
Last August, 48 Iranians who had come to Damascus for a religious visit were taken as prisoners by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The FSA had argued that the 48 Iranians were part of a 150-member Iranian group who had come to Syria for surveillance and that some of them belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Palestinian journalist Bashar al-Qaddumi and Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal were taken hostage by Assad forces on August 21, 2012.
Cuneyt Unal was handed over to a delegation of Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) in Syria on November 17, 2012 after being held captive for 90 days.
There has been no information on Qaddumi since the day he was taken hostage.
The IHH Humanitarian Aid Foundation in 2012 helped the release of many Turkish nationals, including journalists Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun, who were held captive in Syria as well as 28 Iranian nationals and 7 Syrians who were kept in prisons.
In the past five days, the Turkish coastguard has rescued more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Aegean sea. Many of the women and children were rescued from rubber boats.
European Commission's Spring Economic Forecast indicates a revival of domestic demand that will help support growth.
Turkey's head of Presidency of Religious Affairs Mehmet Gormez says has returned his official car saying, 'This car is a grave for me and I do not want to enter a grave.'
Multi-million dollar Ordu-Giresun Airport, located off Turkey’s Black Sea coast, to open in May.
Berlin-based online food multinational takes over Turkey's largest Internet food delivery Yemeksepeti in $589 million deal.
Turkish dailies on Tuesday mainly covered President Erdogan's criticism of two opposition parties.
Turkish dailies have reported that a security manager Sinan Seyfettinoglu, who works at the American Consulate in Adana, is allegedly involved in spying in Turkey.
Turkish dailies on Monday focused on the election manifesto of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party for June 7 elections and on alleged chemical attacks perpetrated by Syrian regime in Idlib.
Kristijan Durasek wins 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, Spanish cyclist Luis Mas Bonet claims final stage win.
Erdogan criticizes pro-Kurdish party's mayors for not greeting him at airport during speeches in Diyarbakir and Batman.
More than 300 people detained under new domestic security law.
On Friday Cavusoglu told Turkish daily, Sabah, that the U.S. and Turkey share the view of a Syria without President Bashar Assad.
Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz says delivering natural gas from Southern Cyprus via Egypt is not feasible.
285 students from 19 countries have been studying at Harbiye, the Turkish Military Academy.
Turkey's energy minister underlines importance for Turkmenistan's gas to reach European markets via Turkey.
Turkey granted island aid in past decade to facilitate budget balance and help pay for large portion of public expenditures.