FM Davutoğlu: Missing Turkish journalists are safe
Adem Özköse (L), Hamit Coşkun (R)
With hopes fading over the safety of two missing Turkish journalists in Syria after more than 10 days, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called the family of one of the journalists on Wednesday evening and assured them that the journalists are alive and safe.
Adem Özköse, a reporter from the İstanbul-based Gerçek Hayat magazine and the Milat daily, arrived with Hamit Coşkun, a cameraman, in Syria on March 5. They were last heard from on March 10.
Özköse’s father, who lives in the northern province of Samsun, immediately went to Adem Özköse’s house in Ankara upon hearing of the incident. When the hopes of the Özköse family began to fade, Özköse said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu called him to say that Foreign Ministry sources confirmed that the journalists are alive.
At a press conference in the building of the İstanbul-based Milat daily on Thursday, Mustafa Özköse and Ahmet Özköse, the father and the uncle of Adem Özköse, respectively, said they have not lost hope. The father told the press that he has been satisfied with government efforts to secure the release of the journalists, saying that the Turkish state was using every possible means to achieve that goal.
Noting that influential regional actors in the Middle East and local actors inside Syria are carrying out efforts to secure the release of the journalists, Ali Adakoğlu, editor-in-chief of Milat, said those kind of attempts also continue through Iran to ratchet up pressure on Damascus.