ANKARA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Turkish public officials kidnapped by the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) are likely to be released and returned to Turkey from northern Iraq on Wednesday, a Turkish official said.
A delegation, including two pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies and non-governmental organization representatives, entered northern Iraq, after leaving Turkey through border gate early on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told reporters.
He added that the handover could be realized on Wednesday.
When they are brought back to Turkey through the Habur border gate, the hostages would then be transferred to their family addresses via helicopter, Atalay said.
The hostages would be delivered to the delegation on Wednesday, the PKK said in a statement carried out by Firat News Agency on Tuesday, an agency that is known to have close links with the banned group.
It is expected that some representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will accompany the delegation, the statement added. The release of the abducted public officials comes amidst ongoing peace talks between the government and the PKK as part of the government's latest move to disarm the PKK through peaceful dialogue.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and most of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey.