Despite neighboring Syria, Turkey not among DAESH's top-10 recruitment sources

AHMET TOPAL
ANKARA
Published 20.11.2015 22:38

A recent report on DAESH prepared by Turkish security and intelligence units found that Turkey is not among the top-10 countries from where the terrorist organization recruits most of its militants.

While most states exert efforts to prevent their citizens from joining DAESH, the combined number of Turkish citizens who were recruited, returned or died in DAESH ranks is around 1,300.

As one of the first countries in the world to put DAESH on its terrorist organizations list, Turkey has ramped up its crackdown on DAESH militants. Security forces have recently detained more than 1,000 DAESH-linked suspects. Out of 1,000 suspects, 300 were arrested. During raids on DAESH-linked addresses and cell houses, security forces seized more than 30 suicide vests and 300 kilograms of TNT. In addition, 2,700 kilograms of chemical materials for explosives were also seized. Apart from explosives, security forces seized many assault weapons, guns, hand grenades and thousands of bullets in the raids.

Carrying out deadly attacks in and outside of its Raqqa stronghold, DAESH has a relatively small army of around 40,000 to 70,000 militants. Out of this figure, almost 25,000 DAESH militants joined the terrorist organization from some 100 countries around the world.

DAESH recently carried out multiple attacks in Paris that left more 130 people dead and over 300 wounded. The attacks increased the risk of increased Islamophobia in Europe since DAESH strongly and arguably, in an unacceptable way, associates itself with Islam. Speaking on the issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday ruled out allegations that Islam is the reason behind such deadly attacks. "These [terrorists] may be among Muslims as well as Christians. I curse these terrorists who are of the religion that I am proud to be a part of. We, as Muslims in the world, will take a firm stance."

U.S. President Barack Obama also voiced his frustration with those that equate Islam to such terrorist attacks. "The overwhelming majority of victims of ISIL [DAESH] are themselves, Muslims. ISIL [DAESH] does not represent Islam. It is not representative in any way of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Muslims," he said.

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