Turkey's state-run news agency says a Turkish photographer who had been kidnapped in Syria has been freed.

The Anadolu Agency said Sunday that 43-year-old photographer Bunyamin Aygun has been handed over to a team of Turkish intelligence officials and is on his way back to Turkey.

The photographer for Turkey's Milliyet newspaper — who recently won awards for his photographs of Syria's civil war — was kidnapped in northern Syria in November by groups believed to be linked to al-Qaida.

Turkey's prime minister confirmed Aygun's release but provided no details about how he was freed.

The release comes as Syrian opposition groups, who are fighting President Bashar Assad's government, are also grappling among themselves for control of northern Syria.