Turkish security forces detained 38 suspects linked to Daesh terrorist group in simultaneous counterterrorism operations in 14 provinces across the country, officials said in a statement Friday.
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in eastern Turkey's Bingöl province issued arrest warrants for 40 suspects nine months ago as part of an investigation against Daesh, while counterterrorism branches conducted raids in 14 provinces across Turkey, the local governor's office said in the statement.
Police detained 38 of those suspects in simultaneous operations in provinces in western, northwestern, southern, eastern and central Turkey, including in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
Security forces also seized an unlicensed pistol and two shotguns, digital materials and documents belonging to the terrorist group, and so-called charity boxes to raise funds for the terrorists in raids on properties belonging to the suspects.
Investigations are ongoing to capture the two other suspects.
Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to rid Turkey of Daesh terrorists. The terrorist group is blamed for a string of terror attacks in Turkey that killed dozens of people over the past three years in Istanbul and Ankara as well as cities in the southeast.
Military operations in Syria and Iraq led to a rapid decline in Daesh territories and the number of its militants. Turkey helped the Syrian moderate opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), to regain control of a number of Daesh-controled towns in an operation in 2016.
Foreigners looking to join Daesh in Syria have mostly attempted to use Turkey as their crossing point. Turkey has taken significant measures against foreign Daesh members and has urged Western countries for intelligence cooperation.
According to official figures, some 2,000 people were arrested and 7,000 others deported in operations against Daesh in Turkey, while around 70,000 people were denied entry to Turkey over their suspected links to the terrorist group.
Security forces have also foiled at least 10 attack plots. Figures show that some 18,500 suspects are currently being monitored for links to the terrorist group after being identified at airports upon arrival.
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