Turkey's ambassador to the U.K., Abdurrahman Bilgiç, said on Tuesday that Turkish authorities could have followed the three missing British teenage girls who reportedly crossed into Syria to join the Islamıc State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), if they had been given detailed information beforehand.
Bilgiç spoke before the Internal Affairs Committee of British parliament regarding the three missing teenage girls, who reportedly ran away to join ISIS traveling through Turkey.
"I think the primary obligation is on the shoulders of the source country because they should be stopped at the source country before exiting the country. [There is] enormous pressure on the shoulders of Turkey. Our neighborhood is not a rose garden. So if we had timely info and detailed info before the arrival then it is of course easy for us to track." Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, left Bethnal Green Academy in East London in early February for Turkey and then reportedly crossed into Syria to join ISIS.
Before they went missing British police had handed over a letter to the girls regarding one of their friends who had left the U.K. in 2014 to join ISIS.
In the letter dated Feb. 2, police asked the families to allow their children to give a deposition.
The girls did not show the letter to their parents, and after they went missing their families accused the police of negligence for not approaching them directly with the letter. The families claimed that they would have attempted to prevent their daughters from leaving the U.K. had they known about the case.
Meanwhile, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, head of London's Metropolitan Police Service, apologized for not showing the letter to the families of the missing girls during the parliamentary session. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that the missing teenagers might have sold jewelry belonging to their parents to finance the trip.
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