Published July 02, 2004
| Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi insurgents on Friday freed two Turkish hostages whose company had reportedly promised to stop working with the U.S. miltary in Iraq to with their release.
The two hostages, an air conditioner repairman and his co-worker, were reported missing June 1.
Al-Jazeera television aired a videotape Friday showing the two men kneeling before three masked insurgents, one of whom read a statement saying the men promised not to work with coalition forces again.
"To honor the Muslim Turkish people, and upon the repentance of the two hostages, and their pledge not to do such a thing again.....we decided to release them in return for nothing," the speaker said.
Their captors identified themselves as the Mujahadeen Brigade (search).
Last week, the father of one of the captives said the company they worked for, Kayteks, had agreed to stop working as a contractor for the U.S. military in Iraq to win their release. The two hostages were allowed to call their families to say they would be freed within a week.
A Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two were released at about 10:30 a.m. The official at the Turkish Embassy said no ransom was paid.
The hostages were identified as Soner Sercali, an air conditioning repairman, and his co-worker, Murat Kizil.
Thousands of Turks work as truck drivers or contractors in Iraq. On Tuesday, insurgents in Iraq freed three other Turkish hostages, saying it did so because they were Muslims.
More than 40 people from several countries have been abducted in Iraq since April, many of them released or freed by coalition soldiers.
Al-Jazeera had also aired a grainy video showing a man it said the insurgents claimed was Army Spc. Keith Maupin, kneeling in the dirt before a pit. The group claimed that Maupin, who was taken hostage in Iraq in April, was shot in the back of the head. But the U.S. military has not confirmed the report.