Turkey has deported more than 3,300 ISIL suspects: Official

Turkey has deported more than 3,300 ISIL suspects: Official

Turkey has deported more than 3,300 ISIL suspects: Official

DHA photo

A top official said on April 25 that Turkey has so far deported more than 3,300 foreigners suspected of links to jihadi groups, particularly fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and another 41,000 foreigners have been barred from entering Turkey as part of the country’s fight against the militant group.

“As of today, more than 3,300 foreign nationals have been deported by our authorities within the context of foreign terrorist fighters suspected of being connected with, particularly, Daesh [ISIL],” İbrahim Kalın, the spokesperson for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on April 25.

“Within this framework, as of today, around 41,000 persons have been banned from entry to our country. These are persons who are suspected of having a relation with the Daesh terror organization in a way,” Kalın said at a press conference, noting that Turkish profiling teams have interviewed 9,500 people upon their arrival in Turkey and more than 2,000 of them were denied entry.

The presidential spokesperson said some 2,770 suspects, including 1,232 foreigners, have been caught in police sweeps against ISIL. Among them, 954 of them are being prosecuted, he added.

Long criticized for not doing enough to stem the flow of jihadist fighters crossing its volatile border with Syria, Turkey has stepped up the fight after a number of deadly attacks on Turkish soil blamed on ISIL, arresting would-be jihadists on a nearly daily basis.

The country has suffered a string of deadly terrorist attacks on its soil since last summer. Hundreds of people have died in five major bombings since July 2015. Four of those deadly bomb attacks have been blamed on ISIL.