After numerous news channels covered the story that 49 Turkish hostages had been released Saturday, September 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan answered some questions on the matter. There is a speculation that the 49 hostages weren’t just released but traded for Islamic militants. Asked about it in NY on Monday, Erdogan said “such things may be possible”. Turkish government officials have not disclose how they secured the release of these hostages with the excuse that “you probably cannot expect us to publicly divulge what the international agencies do in their business”.
When President Erdogan was further pressed on the matter he insinuated that there may have been a prisoner swap with the words “such things may be possible” but never asserted on what did happen. Erdogan said Turkey has been unfairly criticized for not being clearer on the subject but that they must be mindful of the safety of their citizens and cannot broadcast any information that might harm the population.
Turkey is nonetheless completely behind the idea of joining the international coalition to fight ISIS in Syria; Erdogan said Turkey has “no hesitation whatsoever when it comes to fighting terrorism”. They have already made commitments at various conferences to help in the efforts against ISIS but are limited because they must deal with their own hostage situation first.
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