Turkish boy released by Armenia arrives in Turkey
A 16-year-old Turkish boy who was recently released by Armenian forces after being captured on July 24 has arrived in Turkey.
Umut Ali Özmen crossed the Georgian-Turkish border to the Turkish border settlement of Türkgözü in the Posof district of the northwestern province of Ardahan on Sept. 27, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. The 16-year-old was accompanied by his father Mustafa Özmen during his trip.
“Homesickness is so big that it cannot even be described, it was very tough for me … I have missed Turkey a lot,” Özmen told reporters upon arriving the country.
Özmen, who lives with his family in the Akyaka district of Turkey’s northeastern province of Kars, was captured by Armenian security forces on July 24 after crossing the border near Şiş Hill while herding cattle, according to CCTV footage of a Turkish border post.
Özmen was released on Sept. 25 after two months under arrest in a prison in the Armenian town of Abovyan.
Since Turkey and Armenia have no active diplomatic relations because of disputes over historic incidents, Georgia acted as an intermediator in the case.
The 16-year-old and his father were welcomed by Posof District Governor Enver Yılmaz and Posof Mayor Cahit Ulgar at the Türgözü Border Crossing. Yılmaz and the accompanying officials offered the father and son tea.