Authorities announced on Friday that Umut Ali Özmen, a 16-year-old Turkish teenager jailed in Armenia for illegally crossing the border will likely be released and returned to Turkey on Monday.
Özmen, a high school student, was working as a shepherd when he wandered off into the Armenian side of the Turkish-Armenian border, chasing stray animals he took care of in July. Turkey, which does not have diplomatic relations with Armenia, has sought Özmen's return by diplomatic efforts through Georgia.
Rahmi Doğan, governor of Kars, the border province where Özmen lived, told reporters on Friday that they sought to secure the young man's release and contacted Interpol. "We first conveyed the matter to Interior and Foreign Ministry and handled the matter later through Interpol. I believe he will return to Turkey on Monday. We used to contact [border officials] in the similar cases in the past but Armenia sought a diplomatic action this time, so we contacted Foreign Ministry," he underlined.