On Tuesday, the Assad regime released a Turkish businessman named, Vakkas Orhan, who spent ten years in regime prison on various charges after entering Syria for the purpose of trade in 2011.
Orhan, who owns a company operating in the heating sector, went to Syria for business purposes in 2011 after the outbreak of the revolution. He was arrested on various charges and placed in a prison in Aleppo, where he was kept in isolation for a period of time.
Mr. Orhan was handed over to the Turkish authorities on May 18, before meeting with his family living in Ankara on Wednesday.
Regarding the reason for his arrest, Orhan explained during an interview that he was arrested after being reported as a “friend of (President) Erdogan”.
Regarding his condition in prison, he affirmed that he was subjected to ill-treatment, starvation, and physical and psychological pressure. “I was 80 kilograms before I left for Syria. But in prison, I dropped to 35 kg. Praise be to Allah, I am extremely well at the moment, very happy,” he said.
Vakkas Orhan was one of the hundreds of other non-Syrian prisoners in the regime’s prison. In 2017 the Syrian regime released Riyad Ular who had spent 20 years in Syrian prisons over a letter he wrote to his friend in Turkey while studying in Damascus, exposing the crimes of the regime.