Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Isis frees 49 Turkish hostages held in Iraq, announces Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu - (Reuters)

About 49 Turkish people held hostage for several days in the Isis-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul have been released by the Islamist insurgents.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that the captives, who included scores of diplomats and their family members, have returned to their home country.

The freed persons are being brought back to the southern city of Sanliurfa by Turkish intelligence officials. All of them are said to be healthy.

"I am sharing a joyful news which as a nation we have been waiting for. In the early hours our citizens were handed over to us and we brought them back to our country. They have crossed into Turkey and I am on my way to see them," Davutoglu said.

The Turkish nationals were captured by Isis militants when the Sunni insurgents overran Iraq's second largest city of Mosul at the start of the crisis in June.

Turkey's diplomatic mission was later seized by the armed extremists taking the staff and their family members hostage.

Ankara was forced to avoid force against Isis fearing for the safety of its nationals.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement: "I thank the prime minister and his colleagues for this carefully planned, detailed and secret operation, which continued all night and successfully completed early morning."

"Our National Intelligence Agency has followed the issue with patience and dedication, and finally performed a successful rescue operation."