Turkey, Politics

Germany, Netherlands to take back Daesh/ISIS terrorists

Turkey’s interior minister praises constructive attitude of 2 European countries agreeing to return of Daesh/ISIS terrorists

Cemal Asan   | 13.11.2019
Germany, Netherlands to take back Daesh/ISIS terrorists

VAN, Turkey

Germany and the Netherlands have agreed to take Daesh/ISIS terrorists back into their home countries, Turkey’s interior minister said on Wednesday.

“I would like to thank two countries, Germany and the Netherlands,” said Suleyman Soylu during a village guard training meeting in Turkey’s eastern Van province.

He said that the two countries have shown a constructive attitude after several days of talks with officials from both, confirming that as of last night that they will allow the return of “Daesh terrorists with their spouses and children.” 

Soylu said that he expects the same cooperation from other countries in the fight against terrorism.

“We're not a hotel or a guest house for terrorists from any country,” Soylu added.

“We recently captured a very important Daesh man in Syria,” Soylu said, adding that the suspect’s interrogation is still ongoing and “his testimony tells what he has done”

Soylu did not provide further details on the suspect.

The issue of the handling of Daesh/ISIS members and their families detained in Syria -- including foreign members of the terror group -- has been controversial, with Turkey arguing foreign-born terrorists should be repatriated to their countries of origin.

But several European countries have resisted Turkey's efforts to send Daesh/ISIS members back to their countries.

Turkey has so far deported 7,500 Daesh/ISIS members, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week, adding that there are currently 1,149 Daesh/ISIS terrorists in Turkish prisons.

Since Turkey recognized Daesh/ISIS as a terrorist group in 2013, the Turkish state has been attacked by the group numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people, including police officers and soldiers, and injured hundreds.

In response to the attacks, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 Daesh/ISIS terrorists and arresting 5,500.

-Fight against YPG/PKK terrorist group 

On the fight against the terrorist YPG/PKK, Soylu said that every year three times more members of the terror group surrender to Turkish forces than join it.

In 2016, around 703 people joined the terrorist group while 466 surrendered, Soylu said. In 2017, he said, recruits to the group fell from 703 to 161, while 417 surrendered, he said.

According to Soylu, around 136 people joined the terrorist group in 2018 while 383 others surrendered. 

“This year, at total of 104 people joined the terrorist group so far, while those who surrendered totals 297,” he said.

Soylu said the terror group is showing its “exhaustion.”

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the group's Syrian offshoot.

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