Turkey has arrested 865 ISIL militants since start of year: Interior minister
AA photoTurkey has arrested more than 850 people over their connections to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since the beginning of 2016, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said on Aug. 31.
More than half of the 865 arrested individuals were foreigners, Ala added.
“A total of 5,800 people have been detained over several years in efforts against ISIL. Some 2,200 of those are foreigners,” he told journalists, claiming that Turkey’s efforts against terrorism “could set an example for other countries.”
“So far in 2016, a total of 2,147 people, of whom 973 were foreigners, were detained. Again in 2016, 865 people were arrested as a part of the struggle against ISIL, 476 of whom were foreigners,” Ala stated.
Saying a total of 52,075 people from 145 countries have been banned from entering Turkey over suspected ISIL links, he added that 3,790 people from 98 countries had been deported from Turkey.
“It’s essential that these [ISIL militants] do not come in the first place from source countries. That’s why a lot [of responsibility] falls on European Union countries and others [to stop them],” Ala added.
He also mentioned media reports on ISIL militants “educating” children in Ankara, denying that the jihadists had a “school” in Turkey and stressing that four people with links to the suspected ISIL educational center had been detained.
“To describe it as a ‘school’ is wrong, but it is correct that four people were detained from there … That place wasn’t evaluated as a school but rather a cell. An operation was carried out against it. Turkey is conducting operations against terrorist groups. No terrorist organization is allowed to operate in Turkey,” the interior minister added.