President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday dozens of Turkish hostages held by Islamic State militants in Iraq had been freed as a result of negotiations and no ransom had been paid for their release.
"There was no bargain for money at all, but only diplomatic and political negotiations. And this is a diplomatic victory," Erdogan told reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before departing for New York for a UN General Assembly meeting.
Forty-six Turks seized from the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul were freed and returned to Turkey on Saturday, in what Erdogan described as a "secret operation" by the Turkey's spy agency.
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