Kurdish rebel group PKK freed eight captured Turkish soldiers and officials today as part of peace talks.
The group handed over six soldiers, a local official and a police officer to pro-Kurdish MPs and rights activists in northern Iraq, near where the militants have bases.
Five of the captives had been held for more than a year and the other three were seized in August.
The PKK has been fighting for self-rule in south-eastern Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by Britain, the US and other states.
Turkey's government announced last year that intelligence officials were talking to imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to try to persuade the group to disarm.
Mr Ocalan has reportedly proposed a peace plan that would see a ceasefire declared for Kurdish new year later this month and rebels to begin retreating from Turkey in the summer.
In return, Turkey would safeguard Kurdish rights in a new constitution and give local officials greater power.
President Abdullah Gul welcomed the release, adding: "If the violence and guns stop, then it will be easier to move from a security policy to one of reforms."
The release was reportedly a goodwill gesture relayed to the rebels by MPs who met Mr Ocalan on his prison island last month.
The PKK is thought to hold between 10 and 20 hostages and the delegation asked for their release.
Ankara-based Human Rights Association head Ozturk Turkdogan, who travelled to Iraq, said none of the captives had been tortured or ill-treated.
News agency Dogan video footage showed rebel commander Bawer Dersim saying: "We are handing over these people in response to Mr Ocalan's call and instructions.
"We hope that the release will contribute to the process for a democratic solution."
He also called on Turks to "seize on this meaningful effort by our leader and give support to the process for peace and democracy."
Around 45,000 people have died in the three-decade conflict.
Mr Ocalan has been in prison for treason for 14 years.
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