Turkey arrests 285 ISIL suspects

Turkey arrests 285 ISIL suspects

Turkey arrests 285 ISIL suspects

AFP photo

Some 285 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were arrested in Turkey in the first nine months of 2015, according to figures by the Prime Ministry’s Office of Public Diplomacy.

During the period, police seized 2,700 kilograms of chemicals used for making explosive substances, one rocket launcher, 13 long-barreled weapons, 40 guns, 21 hunting rifles, 40 hand grenades and six handmade explosives in operations against ISIL.

Many attacks were prevented thanks to operations which are especially focused on border provinces, according to the public diplomacy office.

More than 1,000 ISIL suspects have been detained in operations, the prime ministry said. On Oct. 20, Justice Minister Kenan İpek announced that 1,673 ISIL suspects had been detained.

Along with ammunition, 96 mobile phones and hundreds of SIM cards, which were procured with fake identities, were also seized in operations. 

Earlier this week, the Istanbul Police Department launched 27 simultaneous raids in the Sultanbeyli, Pendik and Ümraniye districts of Istanbul against ISIL and seized printed and digital organizational documents. Police detained 21 people, including seven children, in the operations.  

In the Central Anatolian province of Konya, 30 people were detained, including one woman, in police raids staged in 33 houses with 200 police officers.

In Kocaeli, 14 people were detained in police raids against ISIL.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces increased border measures aiming to hamper the crossings of foreign fighters through Turkey. In this context, the army has built a 383-kilometer ditch, 73.6-kilometer embankment and 17.5 kilometers of concrete walls, said the prime ministry, adding that a 107.8-kilometer fence had been built and that 422.6 kilometers of the border had been illuminated.

The army said it has caught 196,763 people that were trying to cross from Turkey to Syria since January 2014 although domestic and foreign critics accuse the government of largely turning a blind eye to jihadist activity in the country.