Minister urges envoys to tell world to give Turkey credit in foreign fighter issue
Interior Minister Efkan Ala (R) looks on as Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ makes a speech at the 7th Annual Ambassadors' Conference on Jan. 7. AA PhotoVoicing regret over "unfair international criticism" of Turkey over foreign fighters using the country as a transit point to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, Interior Minister Efkan Ala has tasked Turkish ambassadors to "tell the world about the facts."
“So far we have banned 7,833 people from entering Turkey and we have deported about 1,056 people,” Ala said on Jan. 7 in his address to the 7th Annual Ambassadors' Conference in Ankara, claiming that the countries of departure have actually not taken sufficient measures.
“The source countries are not taking measures that would prevent would-be fighters from leaving country. What happens then? They turn to us and attempt to criticize us. We should tell them how unfair these criticisms are,” he said.
A considerable number of European countries have blamed Turkey for taking insufficient measures against the flow of foreign fighters from its borders, mainly over concerns that they would pose a threat when they return to their home country.
Last month, during a joint press conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu defended Turkey against the accusations that it has been lax in controlling its borders.
“No country in the world could be more disturbed than Turkey about the terrorism in Syria and Iraq ... Support should be given to Turkey’s efforts and Turkey is ready to cooperate,” Davutoğlu said.