Number of ISIL militants detained in Turkey doubled in last half of 2015
AA PhotoThe number of suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members detained by security forces in Turkey almost doubled in the second half of 2015, with a total of 1,139 detained over the course of the year, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.
Statistics showed that there was an increase of 90 percent in the number of ISIL suspects detained over the last five months of 2015, compared to the first seven months of the year.
Some 643 ISIL suspects were detained as they attempted to cross into Turkey, while 496 others were seized while trying to enter Syria from Turkey in 2015. One other was detained elsewhere.
The army said illegal border crossings mainly took place in the southeastern border province of Kilis, which has been a key transit point for militants trying to cross into Syria.
Meanwhile, seven foreign nationals have been arrested by a local court in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş, Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 31. The seven had been attempting to travel to Turkish cities nearer the border with Syria in order to join ISIL jihadists.
On Jan. 12, Saudi-born Syrian national Nabil Fadli conducted a suicide attack against a German tour group in the vicinity of the Hippodrome in the historic Istanbul area of Sultahahmet. The attack marked ISIL’s fourth on targets in Turkey after attacks last year in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara.