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Erdogan: No ransom paid for release of hostages

Monday, September 22, 2014 - 01:09

President Tayyip Erdogan adamant that Turkey did not pay ransom for released hostages, but was noticeably less emphatic when asked about a prisoner exchange, saying a ''swap may or may not have'' taken place.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Did he or didn't he? President Tayyip Erdogan says he didn't pay any ransom for the release of more than 40 Turkish hostages held by Islamic State in Iraq. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: "A material negotiation is out of question but in terms of political and diplomatic talks, of course there was a political and diplomatic negotiation." Freed consulate workers and their families listened intently... a day after intelligence agents brought them home, in what the president describes as a "covert rescue operation." While Erdogan is adamant that no money changed hands, he was far less emphatic when asked if Turkey agreed to a prisoner swap. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: "A swap may or may not have taken place. 49 citizens have returned to Turkey. We wouldn't trade this for the world. This is not an issue that we discuss. Even if there was a swap, as a president, I would think, the lives of 49 citizens are irreplaceable." A total of 49 hostages were taken, three of them being Iraqi nationals working in the consulate.

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Erdogan: No ransom paid for release of hostages

Monday, September 22, 2014 - 01:09