Last updated: 14 March, 2012

Two Turkish journalists missing in Syria

Two Turkish journalists have disappeared in neighbouring Syria, an Istanbul-based newspaper said Wednesday, asking Damascus and Ankara for help to find them.

The newspaper Milat said in a statement it had not had contact with journalist and writer Adem Ozkose and cameraman Hamit Coskun for five days.

Milat said the two called the newspaper on March 9 and said they were in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib near the Turkish border, a rebel holdout which has now been overrun by the Syrian army.

Syrian forces seized control of Idlib after a four-day assault, two weeks after they stormed the Baba Amr district in the central city of Homs following a month-long attack that activists said left hundreds dead.

The two journalists had travelled to Idlib to cover the deadly violence across the border and shoot a documentary, local media reported.

Ozkose works for Milat while Coskun is believed to be a freelance cameraman.

“Aid volunteers and civilians should not be harmed in any part of the world. We are worried about the lives of our colleagues,” Milat said.

“We expect an urgent statement from Syrian authorities” about the crew’s whereabouts, it said, adding that it was also seeking help from Turkish foreign ministry officials to locate the two.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his ministry was exerting “intensive efforts” to find the missing journalists, NTV television reported.

“The humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Syria,” he said, and warned Turkish citizens to be “extremely careful” if they travel to the neighbouring country after the latest crackdown by the Damascus regime.

Two foreign journalists were killed and two wounded in the shelling of Homs last month.