Sixteen Turkish workers who were kidnapped in Iraq on Sept. 2 by Shiite militias were confirmed released on Wednesday morning, according to reports.
Two other workers among the 18 kidnapped were released earlier on Sept. 17.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s statement on his Twitter account said, “Turkey’s abducted 16 workers were received just now by our Baghdad ambassador. I spoke with some of the workers over the phone. Thank God they are in good condition. All preparations are being made for their return back home as soon as possible. I deeply thank all of our Iraqi friends that showed intense effort for our workers.”
Davutoglu stated the workers delivered in Basra were on their way to Bagdad with the Turkish ambassador.
“I send my well wishes to the families of the workers. We will continue to be on Iraqi side in its reconstruction as we have been until now with our government, businesses and people,” Davutoglu added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also reported to have spoken to workers on the phone.
Eighteen Turkish citizens were kidnapped in the Shiite district of Habibiya in Iraq's capital Baghdad on Sept. 2. They were construction workers and engineers for the Turkish corporation Nurol Holding which is in charge of building a sports complex in the eastern Baghdad district of Sadr City.
Sadr City is a stronghold of Shiite paramilitary groups.
The Iraqi Shiite militia Furaq al Mawt (Death Squad) announced in video footage released on Sept. 11 that it was responsible for kidnapping of the Turkish workers and threatened the Turkish government that it would kill the country's abducted citizens if its conditions are not met.l