As part of Turkey's intensified efforts to eradicate the presence of Daesh terrorists within the country, one French suspected terrorist fighter was repatriated to his home country, while 13 other Daesh suspects were arrested.
Turkey extradited a French terror suspect to his home country, the Interior Ministry said in a written statement on Tuesday.
The ministry noted that the repatriation process of foreign Daesh fighters is ongoing.
Turkey continues to go ahead with its campaign to repatriate all terrorists with foreign nationalities, as a result of its counterterrorism operations. As part of Turkey's ramped-up efforts to repatriate foreign terrorists, the Interior Ministry said on Nov. 9 that the country would begin extraditing captured Daesh terrorists to their home countries.
The issue of handling Daesh members and their families detained in Syria – including foreign members of the terror group – has been controversial, with Turkey arguing that foreign-born terrorists should be repatriated to their countries of origin, while several European countries have refused, saying the terrorists are denationalized.
Ankara began repatriating captured Daesh terrorists after the interior minister warned last month that Ankara would do so even if the prisoners had had their citizenship revoked.
Turkey has also criticized Western countries for refusing to repatriate their citizens who joined Daesh in Syria and Iraq, stripping some of them of their citizenship. Although the 1961 New York Convention made it illegal to leave people stateless, several countries, including France, have not ratified it and recent cases have triggered prolonged legal battles. The U.K. alone has stripped more than 100 people of their citizenship for allegedly joining terrorist groups abroad.
Some 287 Daesh terrorists have been captured in northeastern Syria, where Turkish troops launched an anti-terror operation in October, and hundreds more remain in detention as suspects. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 8 that there were currently 1,201 Daesh terrorists in Turkish prisons.
13 Daesh suspects arrested
Meanwhile, Turkish police arrested 13 suspects allegedly linked to the Daesh terror group in the southern province of Osmaniye, security sources said Wednesday.
The suspects were allegedly planning terrorist attacks around the time of New Year's celebrations, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Provincial intelligence and anti-terror police units conducted simultaneous raids at 13 addresses as part of the anti-Daesh operation. Digital materials seized during the search were confiscated.
Following health checkup procedures, the suspects were taken to the police station for questioning.
Turkey recognized Daesh as a terrorist organization in 2013. Since then, the country has been attacked by Daesh terrorists numerous of times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings and four armed attacks which killed 315 people and injured hundreds more.
In response, Turkey has launched military and police operations inside the country and abroad. Turkey has been actively conducting counterterrorism operations against Daesh since 2016. Since then, 4,517 of the 13,696 suspects detained in 4,536 operations have been arrested. Over the course of the operations, 1,018 terrorists were either killed, injured or surrendered. In order to apprehend Daesh suspects, 64 risk analysis units that include experts on terrorism and intelligence were formed across the country. The units regularly monitor suspects that operate within their region, as well as all other developments regarding the terrorist group, both within and outside the country.