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.
On Tuesday, Red Crescent delivered three shipments of medical supplies to Gaza.
From Thursday Turkish nationals living abroad will be able to use ballot boxes in the countries where they live.
Turkish dailies reported Thursday on the latest developments of the operation in Istanbul and other cities against police officers and officials in the wiretapping probe, along with the latest clashes in Israel and Palestine.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Israel is committing 'atrocities' in Gaza.
Gallup World Poll says while 60% of ethnic Turks are satisfied with Erdogan's leadership, this rate hits 67% among ethnic Kurds.
'No award is more important than the lives of our Palestinian brothers,' says Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
The arrested police officers include Yurt Atayun, former chief of Istanbul’s anti-terror police department
When they reached Gaza, the three shipments were received by the Palestinian Red Crescent
A letter released by Erdogan's office called on the U.S. group to condemn the Israeli government's policies
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bombardment of Gaza was 'killing humanity'
Neither Israeli's nor Egypt under Al-Sisi are willing to get aid to help the Palestinians in Gaza, says Erdogan.
A week after Turkey and Egypt exhanged insults over the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, Ahmet Davutoglu says all main actors including Egypt had taken part in the cease-fire process
Scores of people also injured after public bus catches fire near Kavacik district
Shadow of slaughter of Palestinians looms over three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday
Painkillers, antibiotics and surgical supplies among 20 tons of aid
Travellers can use $4 billion service for free for one week. An estimated 7.5 million passengers are expected to use the new line.