From June 2014 to 2017, risk analysis centers at Istanbul's bus stations and its two airports screened nearly 45,000 foreign suspects and deported over 2,500, a security source said yesterday. The analysis center project was spearheaded by Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa Çalışkan and continues to operate successfully, the source, speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
In interview rooms, security officials do psychological testing to determine whether suspects should be sent back to their countries of origin. For those denied entry or deported, a confidential file is sent to authorities in their home country along with the reasons for their return. At the centers, a number of standard review criteria are applied to suspects, such as facial expressions, attitudes, behaviors and clothing.
A total of 2,566 suspects deported through risk center assessments include 1,577 from countries in Asia, 887 Europeans, 79 Africans, 19 from the Americas and four from Australia. Turkey, which sees nearly 40 million visitors every year, has been doing all it can to halt the flow of potential terrorists and terrorism suspects over its borders.
The risk analysis centers were established to catch suspected foreign terrorist fighters who try to enter Turkey, especially those who intend to proceed to Iraq or Syria. According to Turkish officials, it is easier to stop foreign terrorism suspects before they leave their country of origin than apprehending them in Turkey. They also criticize a lack of intelligence sharing by Western governments for aiding the tide of militants crossing Turkey's borders.