Turkey has no information about 5,000 fighters in Syria: Foreign Ministry
AP PhotoAnkara has no information on about 5,000 of the foreign fighters believed to be in Syria, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said, while updating the number of foreigners blacklisted from entering Turkey over suspected jihadist links.
“There are around 15,000 foreign fighters in Syria. The number of people we have banned from entering Turkey as result of intelligence sharing is around 10,000. This means there is a gap of 5,000,” spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç told reporters on Jan. 27 during his weekly press briefing.
The "around 10,000" blacklisted people is an increase from last week, when Bilgiç announced the number as 7,833.
Ankara has been a constant target of criticism from Western countries, which accuse the government of not doing enough to stem the flow of foreigners joining the Islamists fighting in Syria and Iraq. The issue has become one of Europe’s top priorities, particularly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in early January, which revealed the severity of the threat from home-grown terrorists on the continent.