Turkey deports American ISIL suspect stuck at Greek border
An American man suspected of being a member of the ISIL terror group is being repatriated to the United States after spending three days in a no man’s land between Turkey and Greece, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said on Nov. 14.
The American national “foreign terrorist fighter” will be accepted by the U.S., the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry’s statement added that documents, including a traveling pass, have been prepared after the U.S. conveyed its pledge to accept the ISIL member back into the country.
Necessary actions have been taken, the ministry added.
The move came a day after Turkish President Erdoğan met with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington.
The man, identified as Muhammad Darwis B., is reportedly an American of Jordanian descent.
He was deported by Turkey on Nov. 11 after being caught in Syria.
When he proceeded from the Turkish border gate to the adjoining Greek gate, Greek officials refused to let him in -- twice.
This left him in the no-man’s land along the border, adjacent to two countries but unable to enter either.
Darwis was deported from Turkey’s Pazar Kule border gate in Edirne in northwestern Turkey.
His first unsuccessful attempt to enter Greece sent him back to the Turkish side on foot.
His second attempt, however, resulted in a stamp on his passport preventing him from entering Greece.
Darwis was allowed by Turkish border security to sleep in a car, provided with food and sent back to the buffer zone in the morning.
It was not immediately clear why Darwis was sent to Greece rather than the United States.
Separately, the ministry said that Turkey was also deporting one British and seven German “fighters” back to London and Berlin, respectively.
Turkey’s interior minister on Nov. 9 said Turkey would start extraditing captured ISIL terrorists to their home countries.
Turkey on Nov. 11 announced that seven German nationals would be deported this week.
Ankara has stressed that relevant countries were being notified about repatriations. The German Foreign Ministry on Nov. 11 said that Turkey had informed Germany of 10 people to be deported.
The issue of the handling of ISIL members and their families detained in Syria -- including foreign members of the terror group -- has been controversial, with Turkey arguing foreign-born terrorists should be repatriated to their countries of origin.
Ankara has said that it will send ISIL members back to their countries, but several European countries have refused, saying the terrorists were denationalized.