As the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) still poses a threat to the security of the country, Turkey continues to take measures against the terrorist group and foreign fighters who want to join the organization. At the most recent National Security Council (MGK) meeting, which was held on June 29, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu declared that additional security measures were discussed and they will work toward their implementation. Meanwhile, sources at the Prime Ministry released statistical data regarding the fight against ISIS.
Since the official declaration on October 10, 2013, which defined ISIS as a terrorist organization, Prime Ministry sources indicated that 1,350 people have been deported and 13,500 people from 98 countries have been barred from entering Turkey. It said that 18 percent of the 13,500 people who were barred from entry originated from Europe and North America and 56 percent originated from North Africa and the Middle East. On the subject of Turkish participants joining ISIS, sources asserted that 800 to 900 Turkish nationals had joined of the estimated total of 25,000 ISIS fighters.
Regarding accusations that Turkey's border security is subpar, the sources said that Turkey shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Iraq and Syria, which is a challenge to control. Nevertheless, sources say that the Turkish Land Forces Command patrols the land border 24 hours a day with drones and reconnaissance aircrafts. Furthermore, it has lit a 270-kilometer stretch of the Syrian border; renewed a 1,210-kilometer patrol route; is digging 363 kilometers of trenches and building 90 kilometers of wire entanglement, 68 kilometers of embankments and 7 kilometers of concrete walls. The sources stated that more than 48,000 border crossings were intercepted and 175,000 people were caught since start of Syrian civil war in 2011.