World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is directly involved in the negotiations to free 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims who were abducted in Syria, the Lebanese Daily Star reported on Thursday.
According to the report, a Turkish official has stated that the fates of two Turkish citizens kidnapped in Lebanon -- Abd Basset Orssolane and Aydın Tufan Tekin -- are tied to that of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims currently held in Syria, signaling Ankara's involvement in negotiations to end a crisis that began three months ago.
“The fate of the Turks kidnapped in Lebanon is de facto linked to the fate of the Lebanese inside Syria,” said the same official to the Daily Star.
According to the official, Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and director of General Security Brig. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim were briefed on the current status of the Lebanese kidnapped in Syria by MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan.
The report states that Charbel visited Turkey over the weekend in search of accurate information regarding the Lebanese pilgrims amid conflicting media reports concerning the fate of the men, many of whom had been reported dead in air strikes that targeted the Syrian town of Azaz, which killed at least 40 people.
However, Turkish President Abdullah Gül recently stated that the kidnapping of businessman Tekin was not linked to the abduction of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims in Syria. The Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were abducted in Syria in May while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran.
Tekin's abduction by the Meqdad clan in Beirut came after reports that the pilgrims had died in the air strikes in Azaz in northern Syria.
“We are doing what we can to save the abducted Lebanese, but this is an issue that we are not directly involved in,” said Gül.
The clan said that Tekin was kidnapped in retaliation for the Free Syrian Army's abduction of their relative Hasan Meqdad in Damascus. Meanwhile, the clan warned on Monday of unspecified action if their kinsman kidnapped in Syria is not released soon, raising fears that the Turkish hostages' life may be in danger.
The report also stated that officials at the Turkish Embassy maintained that the issue of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims and the two Turkish citizens kidnapped in Beirut were independent of one another, adding that Turkish officials were working to secure the pilgrims' release. The official also said that last week's strikes on the Syrian town of Azaz had further complicated the case of the Lebanese pilgrims in Syria.
The Russian plane remained in international airspace, according to a statement on the website of the military General Staff
It will be the first time Turkey's head of state is elected by the voters and not by the parliament following a change of the constitution
A Turkish court has ordered the release of former Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug.
The Turkish NGO appealed to International Criminal Court for fair result in the ongoing Mavi Marmara case against Israel.
Ocalan's supporters see the vote as a make-or-break moment for stalled peace talks aimed at ending 30 years of conflict
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will back Crimean Tatars to protect their rights amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Abdullah Gul told reporters under a recently passed law authorities could block access to material on such sites if a person's privacy is violated.
One of the unique services of Turkish Airlines: 'Sky Library' application.
According to findings, 257,454 people had their phones tapped in 2012 and 252,063 had their phones tapped in 2013, totalling 509,516 people over the two year period.
Britain’s former Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Turkey deserves applause in receiving Syrian refugees fleeing the violence in their country.
Turkish Airlines increased number of passengers by a quarter in 2013.
Turkish dailies on Friday cover the top court decision to uphold former armed forces chief Basbug's appeal, which paved the way for his release, and Prime Minister Erdogan's statements during a private TV broadcast Thursday night.
Constitutional Court said rights of the former Turkish army head Basbug's rights were violated.
Three people wounded and 13 illegal migrants captured on boat fired upon by Greece's coastguard near Greek Oinousses Island.
Turkey will hire hackers to identify weaknesses in computer networks.
Poland's President Komorowski, lauded the two countries’ visa exemption scheme and stated that Poland seeks to attract foreign capital, adding: "I think there is potential in Turkey. We can be more effective and stronger together in the third world."