Turkish authorities have detained 16 Indonesians from three families who were trying to cross into Syria, a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
"These 16 people -- three families -- are currently being held at a holding centre ... and we have information that Indonesia's Ankara embassy is in touch with the group," spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a statement.
The Indonesian embassy in Ankara had made no formal requests of the Turkish foreign ministry regarding the group, according to the statement, which gave no details on the reasons for their detention.
Turkish officials previously reported that 10,000 people from 91 countries have been banned from entering Turkey on the grounds of having links to ISIS, adding that 1,085 people from 74 countries were deported for similar reasons.
The country stepped up measures along its 911 kilometer-long border with Syria against infiltration from the war-torn country and vice versa. However, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu acknowledged that the country will never be able to make the border completely secure. Since ISIS captured the city of Mosul in Iraq last summer, Turkish leaders have called for broader cooperation to fight ISIS in the region and prevent militants from joining the group, which also threatens the West.
On every possible occasion, including the NATO summit in Wales and the G20 summit in Australia, Turkish leaders have said international cooperation and intelligence sharing is vital to combat the influx of foreign fighters into ISIS-held regions of Syria and Iraq. Highly criticized after its failure to prevent the terror attacks in Paris, France also apprehended and interrogated its citizens who were deported from Turkey. In some cases, deported French citizens arrived back in Turkey to join ISIS, but were sent back to France again.
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