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ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish journalist Adem Özköse (L) and
Hamit Coşkun are missing in Syria. AA photos

Turkish journalist Adem Özköse (L) and Hamit Coşkun are missing in Syria. AA photos

The families and colleagues of two Turkish journalists who went missing in Syria four days ago called on the Turkish government yesterday to help discover their whereabouts. 

“We are worried about the lives of our colleagues, whose single purpose was to properly inform [people] about the incidents in Syria,” Ali Adakoğlu, chief editor of the Istanbul-based Milat newspaper, told reporters in Istanbul yesterday.

Adem Özkose, Middle East correspondent for the Gerçek Hayat magazine and columnist for Milat, and Hamit Coşkun, a cameraman, crossed into Syria from the southern province of Hatay last week. 
The newspaper said it has not been in contact with the two journalists for four days.

Özkose was last heard from on March 10, when he called from an area near the northern town of Idlib, which the Syrian army captured on March 13, said Adakoğlu, adding that they were seeking help from the Turkish Foreign Ministry to locate both.

The Turkish Embassy in Syria, as well as Ankara’s consulates, is in contact with Syrian authorities to obtain information on the missing reporters, a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News. 
Families of the journalists gathered in front of the Foreign Ministry late March 13 before moving on to the Syrian Embassy in Ankara to demand the safe return of the two.

Turkey is making efforts for the safe return of Özkose and Çoşkun, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters yesterday in Konya. He also requested that Turkish nationals be extra careful in visiting Syria.

Özköse has lived in Syria for five years, and returned to Turkey one year ago due to unrest in the conflict-hit country, Adakoğlu said, adding that the journalist was closely acquainted with leaders in the Syrian opposition.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry officials said Turkey was in contact with Iraqi authorities to release 25 Turkish workers arrested in Iraq. The Turkish Embassy in Baghdad said it had sent a note to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry demanding the release of the detained workers.

March/15/2012

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