Turkey has deported 110 “foreign terrorist fighters” to their home countries since November, an Interior Ministry official said on Friday.
Of the 46 Europeans deported, 21 were German citizens.
The official confirmed a comprehensive count by state news agency Anadolu, which said 13 French, five British citizens and two nationals each from Belgium, the Netherlands, Kosovo and Morocco were sent back. Also repatriated was one citizen each from the U.S., Greece, Denmark, Ireland, and Australia.
So far, Turkey has included children in its deportation tally.
The deportations started on Nov.11, but the ministry has not specified if all the suspects were linked to the Islamic State extremist group, nor has it provided details of the allegations against them.
It was also not clear where and when the alleged fighters were captured, whether they were taken into custody after Turkey launched its incursion into north-eastern Syria on Oct. 9, or earlier.
Turkey has made clear that the deportations would continue even if the suspects’ home countries have revoked their citizenship.
Anadolu reported that 849 alleged foreign fighters are being held in deportation centres and are to be sent back after their nationalities have been confirmed and their countries contacted.
“Everyone will go back to their own countries.
“Turkey is neither an open-air prison nor a hotel for anyone,” the Ministry spokesman, Ismail Catakli, told a news conference earlier in December. (dpa/NAN)
– Dec. 20, 2019 @ 14:35 GMT |