Three Saudis, one Russian arrested near Turkey’s Syrian border
DHA PhotoThree Saudi Arabian citizens and one Russian citizen were arrested on March 25 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep province before entering Syria, local officials have said.
The Russian citizen, identified by middle initials of S.D., was arrested for trying to illegally cross the border into Syria and with intentions of joining the ongoing civil war in the country, the Gaziantep Governor’s office said in a statement. Three Saudi Arabian citizens, identified as A.H.A.A, F.S.S.Z. and H.A.H.A, were separately arrested in the Karkamış district as they had also tried to illegally cross the border into Syria, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Russian citizen has already been deported from Turkey, while the three Saudi Arabian citizens will be deported once the administrative process is completed, the statement said.
In the past four years, a total of 471 people, including 173 Turkish citizens, have been caught illegally trying to enter Syria via Turkey, Doğan News Agency reported. Legal procedures were opened against 269 people charged with “being members of a terrorist organization.” Some 45 foreign citizens were arrested after legal procedures, while 51 foreigners were deported. All 173 Turkish citizens were released. The other 202 people also captured by security forces stood trial and were deported.
The numbers and nationalities of people captured in the past two years in Gaziantep is as follows: 173 Turkish citizens, 59 Russian citizens, 51 Syrian citizens, 18 Indonesian citizens, 17 East Turkestan nationals, 12 South African citizens, 11 German citizens, 10 Kazakhstan citizens, nine Mauritian nationals, eight Uzbekistan citizens, eight Libyans, eight Austrian citizens, seven Morocco citizens, seven French citizens, six Jordanians, five Tajikistan citizens, five Saudi Arabians, four Macedonians, four Kyrgyzstan citizens, four Kuwaitis, four Tunisians, four Azerbaijanis, three Turkmenistan nationals, three Trinidad And Tobago nationals, three Maldivians, three Venezuelans, two Chinese nationals, two Italian citizens, two Bosnians, two Pakistanis, two Belgium citizens, one Palestinian, one Nigerian, one Canadian, one Iraqi, one Portuguese, one Ukrainian, one Norwegian, one Swiss, one Spaniard, one Dutch citizen, one Egyptian, one Bahraini national, one Bangladeshi and one Georgian citizen.
Turkey shares an 800 kilometer border with Syria which is used by foreign fighters wanting to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria. Turkish officials are cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq. Thousands of foreign fighters are believed to have joined terrorist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq, including ISIL.