"I took part in five meetings involving representatives of Turkey and Syria. We held the talks to assess the situation in general and determine whether bilateral relations could be restored," he said. "Much in the same way that Turkey held negotiations with Russia."
Two of the meetings took place in 2015 and three were held this year, he added.
Prior to every meeting in Syria, Ismail Hakki Pekin discussed the issue with representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and "received all the necessary information." When the delegation returned home, it provided a report to the ministry and other Turkish authorities.
The informal meetings primarily revolved around the situation in Syria at the time and security measures, he added.
"We talked to representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. They told us about what was happening in Syria, about the prospects of restoring relations between Turkey and Syria, about working on a joint security concept. We discussed possible steps that Ankara and Damascus could take towards each other," he explained.
Rumors have long circulated that Turkey and Syria were holding secret talks. Both neighboring countries used to be allies before the foreign-sponsored insurgency morphed into a full-scale war in the Arab country, prompting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cut ties with Assad.
For the last five years, Ankara has provided assistance to radical armed groups fighting to overthrow the government in Damascus and establish a caliphate.
According to a recent report by Algerian newspaper al-Watan, there has been contact between the two governments mediated by the Algerian government.