Turkey begins deporting foreign members of ISIS
Despite a potential fallout with its European allies, Turkey has said that it has begun deporting foreign members of ISIS held in custody.
Last week, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that Ankara would begin to send ISIS militants back to their home countries even if they had been stripped of their citizenship. One US citizen has already been repatriated and seven German nationals were due to be flown home on 14 November, interior ministry spokesperson İsmail Çataklı has revealed. Preparations to deport two Irish, 11 French, and three Danish citizens were also under way, although the suspects were not immediately identified.
Stressing that Turkey was not a ‘hotel’ for foreign jihadis, the country is aiming to repatriate about 2,500 militants, the majority of whom would be sent to European Union nations. The state broadcaster TRT Haber has claimed that there were 813 jihadists at 12 deportation centres around the country.
Several European countries, including the UK, have stripped ISIS fighters of their citizenship to prevent their return, leaving many legally stateless and creating a problem for Turkish capital city Ankara. The UK has stripped more than 100 people of British citizenship over their alleged links to Isis, al-Qaida, al-Shabab and other terrorist groups since 2010.