Turkish workers seized in Iraq release

releSixteen Turkish workers who were abducted four weeks ago by men wearing military uniform in Iraq have been released and are with embassy officials, according to reports from Turkey and Iraq.

Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday the workers were freed in the city of Basra and were travelling to Baghdad.

In remarks on Twitter, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister, said: “Our 16 workers have just been received by our Baghdad ambassador. Preparations are underway to take them back to the country.”

There was no immediate information on the circumstances of the workers’ release.

The men, kidnapped on September 2 from a stadium they were building on the outskirts of Baghdad, are expected to return to Turkey on Wednesday or Thursday after a debriefing, the chief executive of Nurol Holding, their employer, said on Wednesday.

The group that captured them had demanded that Turkey halt the flow of fighters into Iraq, lift what it called a “siege” on Syrian Shia cities and stop the passage of oil from Iraq’s northern Kurdish region via Turkey in defiance of Baghdad.

Last year, 46 Turkish citizens were seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Mosul, but were released unharmed after more than three months in captivity.

Source: Agencies