Turkish and Qatari intelligence services have cooperated to ensure the safe return of seven Turkish citizens who were detained in eastern Libya for nearly two years by forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar, Anadolu reported.
The agency quoted a statement issued by the country's Foreign Ministry as saying that the seven Turkish civilians had been held on baseless allegations in eastern Libya. They have been returned home after about two years.
The agency said Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) saved the group in collaboration with Qatari intelligence.
The citizens, most of whom were working at restaurants and bakeries in Libya, were identified as Ilker Saglik, Dogan Kissa, Nurettin Calik, Halil Gozel, Ahmet Selvi, Hidayet Yaprak and Abdul Samet Akcay.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reported to have contacted the citizens and wished them well upon their return.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement issued yesterday that the seven citizens were safely brought to Turkey after "lengthy efforts".
"During this process, the condition of our citizens has been constantly monitored with efficient cooperation between all our relevant agencies and institutions, particularly our embassy in Tripoli and the National Intelligence Organization, and intense efforts were exerted for the safe release of our citizens," the ministry said.
The statement thanked the governments of Libya and Qatar for their help in releasing the citizens.