Ankara repatriates seven citizens held in eastern Libya

Ankara repatriates seven citizens held in eastern Libya

Ankara repatriates seven citizens held in eastern Libya

Turkey on Nov. 20 brought seven Turkish citizens, who have been held upon baseless allegations for about two years in eastern Libya, as a result of the joint works of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) with the Qatar Intelligence Agency (QSS).

The Foreign Ministry and MİT had been pursuing efforts over the past two years for the release of the Turkish citizens, most of whom were working at restaurants and bakeries in Libya.

The rescued citizens were identified as İlker Sağlık, Doğan Kıssa, Nurettin Çalık, Halil Gözel, Ahmet Selvi, Hidayet Yaprak and Abdül Samet Akçay.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telephoned the rescued citizens and wished them well, while the rescued in turn thanked the state.

Erdoğan also conveyed his congratulations to those who contributed to bringing the citizens to the country.

Since a popular revolution toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has faced a long civil war and recently moved to a transitional phase in search of stability.

The bloodshed has drawn in competing Libyan factions and extremist groups as well as foreign powers.

But the country has witnessed positive developments following a Feb. 5 breakthrough in which rival parties agreed on a unified new executive authority to govern in the run-up to elections this Dec. 24.

Meanwhile, 24 people have submitted applications to run in the elections aiming to put the war-torn country back on the political normalization track, the High National Election Committee (HNEC) said.

In a statement, the commission said its office in the capital Tripoli received new seven applications, while one application was submitted in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Applications for running in the polls will be accepted until Nov. 22 and Dec. 7 for parliamentary polls.