Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun
Two Turkish journalists missing in Syria are now repoted alive and have been handed over to Syrian government authorities, Turkish deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc said. He said Ankara was
working to secure their release.
There has been no contact with Adem Ozkose, who works for the Milat newspaper, and cameraman Hamit Coskun for a week since they travelled to the Syrian city of Idlib, the scene of heavy fighting between the Syrian army and insurgent forces.
Arinc was quoted by Turkish media as saying: "News has been received that they are alive, but are in the hands of officials on the side of the Syrian regime. First of all, we are pleased. We received news that they are alive. The foreign ministry will follow up their return to Turkey."
The Turkish foreign ministry said it could not confirm the whereabouts of the two reporters.
Turkish media reported Thursday that the pair had been captured and handed over to the Mukhabarat secret police.
The Iranian Ambassador to Ankara, Bahman Hosseinpour said earlier that Tehran was willing to help find the missing reporters. Family and colleagues of the journalists missing for four days earliercalled on the government in Ankara to help with efforts to discover their whereabouts.
Citing the seven abducted Iranain engineers in Syria, the ambassador also expressed hope the engineers would be released soon.
Five of the seven Iranians were kidnapped by unknown armed gunmen on their way to the 450-MW power plant in the troubled Syrian city of Homs on December 21.
The technicians were building the city's Jandar power plant for the past two years.
The two other Iranians were abducted one day after the initial kidnapping while on a mission to establish the whereabouts of the missing engineers.
In January, a group of gunmen in Syria had kidnapped 11 Iranian pilgrims traveling by road from Turkey to Damascus.
Families of the two journalists last heard from them a week ago, when they called to say they had reached the Syrian city of Idlib, where government forces on Wednesday re-established full control of the city following days of deadly clashes with opposition fighters.
More than one hundred people are confirmed dead in Idlib and hundreds more are missing.