Turkey Swapped 180 IS Militants For 49 Hostages


An employee (C) at Turkey’s consulate in Mosul is welcomed by her
relatives at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Sept. 20, 2014. (photo

Turkey swapped 180 IS militants for 49 hostages

Author: Taraf (Turkey)Posted October 2, 2014

Details of the exchange made with the Islamic State (IS) to release
49 Turkish hostages are becoming clearer after President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan signaled at an exchange by saying, “So what if there was
an exchange?”

Summaryâ~N~Y Print Details have emerged of a prisoner exchange
previously mentioned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Author Huseyin OzayPosted October 2, 2014 Translator(s)Timur Goksel

In return for the consulate personnel, 180 militants were handed
over to IS, including some senior officials of the organization:
180 IS personnel were first assembled at Van and then delivered to
IS in batches.

This is the background of the release of the 49 hostages:

The process began with the US air attacks against IS. The United
States asked Turkey not to release IS militants undergoing medical
treatment in Turkey and warned Turkey not to free IS people apprehended
in Turkey. IS, for its part, pressed the government to release the
detained IS personnel and those undergoing treatment.

The AKP government, squeezed by the United States and IS, then
developed an exchange formula to hand over IS militants in Turkey in
return for hostages. It was claimed that with this diplomatic formula
Turkey ensured the release of the hostages while getting rid of the
IS people on its territory. Turkish security units were not directly
engaged in an operation during the release of the hostages.

Notables of pro-US Iraqi tribes played an important role in the
exchange process. After the agreement was reached, IS brought the
hostages to the border and informed the Turkish National Intelligence
Organization (MIT). There, Turkish security units took over the
hostages. The release of IS militants followed the release of Turkish
hostages and took about one week. IS militants undergoing medical
treatment and those detained in prisons were brought forth and held
in Van before being delivered to IS in batches. It is not yet known
whether the IS militants who attacked police at Nigde were among those
handed over. Reports say they were included in the initial list of IS
militants to be released, but were taken off the list after reactions.

No weapons were given or money paid for the hostages. But in the
very first days of the crisis, a certain amount of money was paid to
IS officials. Release of hostages also revealed three power centers
involved in the issue. After the release of hostages, the presidency,
the prime ministry and MIT mobilized their supporters in the media to
play up and glorify their roles. This was seen as the first secret
power struggle in Ankara since Erdogan became president. Ankara
political circles say this was the way MIT chief Hakan Fidan conveyed
a message of “I count also.”

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