The Turkish government is not working on any new mandate to authorize a cross-border military operation into Iraq, where militants are holding 80 Turkish nationals hostage, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

"The issue of whether the existing mandate is sufficient (for a military operation) or a new mandate is required is among the issues being discussed. But right now there is no work being conducted for a new mandate," Bozdag told reporters in Ankara.

A parliamentary mandate allowing Turkey to conduct cross-border military operations in Iraq expires in October. It was drafted to enable Ankara to strike at bases of Kurdish PKK militants in the north of the country.s.