Turkey's intelligence services have helped in the rescue operations to free 170 hostages – including foreigners – over the past eleven years, the agencies announced yesterday.
The country's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has in that period helped to rescue 138 Turkish citizens and reunite them with their families. It has also taken part in the rescues of 32 foreign hostages.
The hostages, both nationals and foreigners, were rescued mainly from conflict zones within Syria as well as other countries in the Middle East and Africa.
The foreigners who were rescued by the MIT were citizens of Britain, the Netherlands, Lebanon, France, Russia, Kosovo, Belgium, Japan, Iraq, Algeria, Malaysia, Dagestan, South Africa and Italy. The vast majority of the 31 rescue operations that have taken place since 2009 were conducted in coordination with the authorities in the host countries.
The revelation of the extent of the rescue operations undertaken by the MIT – reportedly seen as a competent and reliable ally within the international intelligence community – comes after an Italian woman was rescued from captivity in Somalia with the help of the agency last month.