AFP | worldbulletin.net | Reuters – March 12, 2013 – DIYARBAKIR: – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has announced that the eight Turkish captives it is holding will be released and handed over to the delegation on Wednesday, the Firat news agency ANF has reported.
A six-person delegation which left Diyarbakir on Monday has arrived in Erbil (Hewlêr), the capital city of Kurdistan region in Iraq’s north, on Tuesday. The release was initially expected to take place Tuesday but was delayed due to “technical reasons”, according to the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Ankara also confirmed that the eight captives, which include troops and civil servants, are expected to be set free on Wednesday and taken to Turkish soil, where their families are waiting to greet them. The delegation includes Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Sebahat Tuncel, Hüsamettin Zenderlioğlu and Adil Kurt, as well as Human Rights Association (IHD) President Öztürk Türkdoğan, IHD Diyarbakır Branch Chair Raci Bilici and MAZLUMDER Chairman Ahmet Faruk Ünsal.
Tuncel was however denied permission to leave Turkey because of the ban on leaving the country she had received earlier. She is reported to be waiting for the delegation in Şırnak with the families of detained Turkish officials. According to the reports, two officials from Iraq’s Kurdistan Region will also take place in the delegation while accepting the prisoners tomorrow. BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay have confirmed Fırat’s report that the officials could be released on Wednesday, although it was earlier reported that they were going to be released on Tuesday.
The release of Turkish prisoners held by PKK was brought to agenda following the message of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan who said during the most recent meeting with BDP deputies on Imralı Island that; “The state has PKK prisoners, so does the PKK have civilian prisoners. PKK should treat the prisoners well and I hope they will come together with their families soon”.
The Turkish soldiers and officials to be released by PKK are; district governor candidate Kenan Erenoğlu, sergeant Abdullah Söpçeler, specialist sergeants Zihni Koç and Kemal Ekinci, soldiers Hadi Gizli, Ramazan Başaran, Reşat Çeçan and police officer Nadir Özgen.