Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been using an office block in the Turkish capital to train young militants under cover of a masjid, according to an indictment by an Ankara
The group has been using the third, fourth and fifth floors of the block in the Ulucanlar neighborhood of Ankara, the indictment states.
“They are trying to provide school education in places such as mosques, study or training centers built by themselves. They do not accept the laws or schools of the Republic of Turkey and do not send their children to public schools,” it says.
Prosecutor Ender Coşkun filed claims against suspects including a man identified as Ahmet D., ISIL’s alleged Ankara
leader who uses the codename Abu Eslem, and 19 other suspects for “being a member of an armed terror organization.”
The prosecutor also said the group has been carrying out activities at a number of masjids in Ankara’s Çubuk, Sincan and Altındağ districts.
In searches of the houses of suspects, police found a number of school “report cards” prepared for the children at the school, as well as wedding invitations in Arabic.
The fifth floor of the office block included in the indictment has been used as a residence by a suspect identified as Mustafa S., while the fourth floor has been used as a “masjid for women” where 22 children aged between 10 and 18 are trained.
A number of forbidden books, school reports and ISIL flags were found at the block.
One of the suspects, identified as Ramazan E., told the prosecutor that Turkey is “faithless” as it is “secular and ruled as a democracy.”
He also said people should not perform their military service in a country that is not “ruled under Islam” and he would not send his children to state schools, where there is “immorality.”
Another suspect, Necip Ü., said he refused to pray at regular mosques since imams there “have sworn to be loyal to the secular system.”