By Gozde Bayar
ANKARA (AA)- Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday expected immediate release of six Turkish citizens held by East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar forces.
“Holding six Turkish citizens in Libya by illegal militia loyal to [Khalifa] Haftar is an act of banditry, piracy,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.
It added that Turkey expects immediate release of its citizens, and otherwise, Haftar elements would become legitimate target.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups.