Ankara, 29 Jumadil Akhir 1434/9 May 2013 (MINA) – The Turkish diplomat source  said, Wednesday (8/5) in Ankara, that the fate of the Turkish citizens who were taken hostage by Taliban forces in Afghanistan are in good health, the en.haberler.com quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

     “Turkey’s efforts, both with Afghan officials and local notables, to ensure the release of the hostages are ongoing,” said the diplomat, who spoke to Today’s Zaman on the condition of anonymity. “The Turkish engineers are in good health.”

     Eight Turkish citizens, engineers and officials of a construction company, together with an Afghan interpreter and two pilots from Kyrgyzstan and Russia, were in a Russian Mi-8 helicopter when it had to make an emergency landing in a remote part of Logar province in the eastern part of the country due to bad weather.

     But a Turkish diplomat has said there is still no new information on the fate of the Turkish citizens who were taken hostage.

     “We are still at the same point, there is no progress currently. The local authorities and prominent leaders in Afghanistan are making great efforts and are in close contact with the group that captured our citizens. However, we don’t have definite information currently,” said the diplomat.

      The Associated Press reported Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid as saying in late April after the abduction that the group was looking into the backgrounds of the captives and was not engaged in negotiations concerning their release.

      A Turkish man who was held by the Taliban for more than two years in Afghanistan was freed last month, reportedly thanks to the efforts of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

      “We are still keeping our hopes alive for the eight citizens. The release process is a sensitive one. As you know, it took more than two years for a Turkish citizen held by the Taliban to be freed,” added the diplomat.

      Soon after he arrived in Afghanistan to work for a construction company, Sertaç Dikilitas (30) was kidnapped by Taliban forces in January 2011.

      His abduction was given little coverage in the Turkish media and some reports have even said that his own family was only told of his kidnapping two months after he went missing. (T/P09/E1).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

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