Turkey starts repatriation of captured foreign ISIL fighters
Turkey on Nov. 11 started a program of repatriation of foreign ISIL fighters, with a U.S. citizen deported in the early morning and a German and a Denmark national were to be deported on the same day, Interior Ministry spokesman İsmail Çataklı told Anadolu Agency.
“A U.S. citizen Daesh terrorist has been repatriated after the completion of legal procedures,” he said, using the Arabic acronym of the ISIL group.
The deportation of a German national ISIL fighter was in progress, the official said, adding that a Danish ISIL member would also be repatriated on Nov. 11.
“So, a total of three foreign national terrorists will be deported from our country today,” he said, adding that seven more German national ISIL members will also be deported on Nov. 14.
The legal proceedings for the two Irish national terrorists caught in Syria were about to end and they would also be repatriated soon, he added. “Two more German national terrorists who had been captured in Syria will be deported […] this week. In addition, the legal proceedings for the 11 French national terrorists who had been captured on the Syrian territories are in progress,” Çataklı added. “Turkey will extradite them no matter what,” he stressed.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said at the weekend that Turkey would start extraditing captured ISIL members on Nov. 11 to their home countries.
“However, the world has devised a new method. They say, ‘Let’s strip them of their citizenship... Let them be tried where they are’,” the minister earlier said. “It is impossible for us to accept this view... We will send Daesh members to their countries whether they strip them of their citizenship or not,” Soylu added. On Nov. 2, Soylu said EU countries including the Netherlands and Britain had stripped some of the fighters of their nationalities to prevent Ankara from sending them home.
Meanwhile, Germany will take back several ISIL suspects, along with their wives and children, who were captured by Turkish authorities, officials confirmed on Nov. 11.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Christofer Burger said Turkish authorities have informed them that they would deport 10 German citizens to their country this week.
“German authorities have verified the identities of these three men, five women, and two children,” he said, but gave no further details.
The Turkish government regularly calls on European countries to repatriate their nationals belonging to ISIL, but many governments are dragging their feet, fearing a public backlash and security problems
Turkey argues the 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 these people were denationalized.
Turkey has so far deported 7,500 ISIL members, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week, adding that there are currently 1,149 ISIL members in Turkish prisons.
Since Turkey blacklisted ISIL in 2013, the Turkish state has been attacked by the group members numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people, including police officers and soldiers, and injured hundreds.
Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 ISIL members and arresting 5,500 others.