US, France citizens deported while crossing Turkey-Syrian border
ISTANBUL - Milliyet
DHA PhotoA former U.S. colonel, an American academic and a French researcher were detained while attempting to cross the Turkey-Syria border, daily Milliyet reported on June 25.
The Turkish gendarmerie found the three people while they were trying to enter the Turkish zone of the border. The three claimed they were lost.
Retired U.S. Colonel Richard Douglas Gillem, 49, Prof. Mark Polyak and French researcher Fabrice Jean-Michel Blanc were found near İnanlı Village, and were detained by border guards.
The three people have said they were trying to enter the Syrian side, but said they were lost. They had cameras, satellite phones and navigational equipment.
They entered Turkey together on May 30 at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport and then arrived in the southern province of Kilis on May 31.
A prosecutor charged the trio of “violating a military restricted zone,” but they were later released by a court. Following their release, the three were deported from the country.
The Turkish military and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) have intensified their efforts to combat illegal border-crossing since the number of cases in the country has increased, Milliyet reported.
Citizens from China, Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, the United States, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan and Russia have been detected at border-crossings, the daily added.