World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied recent reports by the Iranian media that a Turkish general was arrested in Syria.
“The reports that a general from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) was captured in the Aleppo province of Syria do not reflect the truth,” the ministry said in a statement released on Monday, terming the claims as “baseless.”
Iranian Fars news agency claimed on Sunday that the Syrian army announced that it had apprehended a Turkish general who commanded the opposition forces fighting against the regime forces in Aleppo. The report claimed that the Turkish general was arrested during the Syrian army's clashes with the opposition forces in Aleppo, further arguing that the Turkish general had been taken to Damascus for further interrogations.
The ministry statement also confirmed that Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi contacted Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu over the weekend, calling for Turkey's prompt intervention to secure the release of 48 Iranian pilgrims taken hostage in the capital of war-torn Syria by opposition forces.
The ministry said Davutoğlu responded positively to Salehi and pledged carry out efforts for the release of the Iranians as in previous cases.
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Simulatenous raids across Turkey saw 11 police officers arrested for alleged involvement in wiretapping scandal.
Turkish dailies' front pages were heavily dominated Friday by the nomination of Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, as new prime minister, thus succeeding President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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Today's newspapers covered claims that Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been spying on Turkey, further speculation on Turkey's future prime minister and President Barack Obama's comments on the killing of American journalist James Foley.
A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry urged the United States to respect press freedom.
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Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz called for the lifting of an Israeli blockade so power can be delivered to Palestinians.