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.
EU Commission releases its first report on the progress Turkey has made towards lifting visa obligations for Turkish citizens
Series of deaths come amid pro-Kurdish protests around country
Press TV journalist dies after her car crashed into a construction vehicle near the border
Turkish Foreign Minister said that Turkey was facilitating the passage of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to Kobani to aid Syrian Kurds
'If oil prices continue to decrease over the next year, Turkey's budget deficit will fall by 10 percent,' says energy min
Monday's papers covered a meeting on the "solution process" between the Turkish government and the 'wise men' delegation of experts
The Turkish Central Bank has disclosed that the private sector has seen its long-term foreign debt increase to $166.2 billion since December
12 countries along with host Turkey will gather in Istanbul for four days of military drills on Oct. 20
The Turkish president has appreciated the “Wise Men Committee” for its role in the settlement process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Turkey has welcomed the finalization of Iraq's cabinet and termed it "an important step of an inclusive political beginning"
The leaders discussed the situation in Kobani, along with steps to fight the advance of ISIL militants.
Davutoglu describes Turkey's Kurdish solution process as a national and unique project that must be protected from 'foreign hands'
Medical team at Kapikule on Turkey-Bulgaria border trained and equipped to deal with the deadly disease, Governor of Edirne border province says
The Turkish president says his country will continue to mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the Turkish troops established a peaceful environment in Afghanistan just like it did in Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia
John Bass, who was sworn in as the new US Ambassador to Turkey on October 7, says Turkey and the US are "long-time friends and strategic partners"
Republican People's Party says Istanbul prosecutor's decision to drop 'December 17' case shows 'justice has stopped' in Turkey