First Turkish ISIL member arrested in Turkey
AP PhotoA Turkish citizen has been arrested for being a member of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for the first time in Turkey, daily Vatan reported on Feb. 4.
The 38-year-old man, identified as Musa Göktaş, reportedly crossed into Syria to join the ISIL militants with his 15-year-old twin sons on Oct. 8, 2014. His wife later reported to police that her husband and children were missing, suspecting that her sons had joined ISIL with their father without telling her.
After spending almost four months with the group, Göktaş returned to Turkey on Jan. 27 in order to sell his house to pay his debts and take his wife over to Syria. However, he was detained by police during an identity check while on a bus in Gaziantep that was traveling to Ankara, where he was living before leaving the country.
Göktaş has been questioned on charges of being a member of ISIL and arrested by an Ankara court on suspicion of escaping and spoiling evidence.
The man reportedly said in his testimony that he had joined ISIL in order to live a life according to his religious beliefs.
“I wanted to join ISIL, which I felt religiously close to. I crossed into Syria illegally and took my twin sons, who were born in 2000. We crossed to the region controlled by ISIL. I told the militants that I wanted to join them. They interviewed us for 10-12 days regarding religious education. They took us in after accepting that we were Muslims at the end of this education,” Göktaş reportedly stated.
“[In Syria] I worked in a kitchen with my sons. We were receiving $270 in total, $90 for each of us. I have never been involved in any armed attacks,” he added.
Semi-official Anadolu Agency also reported that four other suspected ISIL members were arrested in Gaziantep.