Hundreds held in anti-Daesh ops across Turkey

Counter-terrorism squads capture almost 450 Daesh suspects in almost 20 provinces, including Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir

Hundreds held in anti-Daesh ops across Turkey


Turkish police detained nearly 450 suspects linked to the Daesh terrorist group in early-morning raids across Turkey on Sunday, security sources said. 

The suspects, most of them foreign nationals, were charged with being members of an armed terrorist organization, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media. 

Separate police operations were conducted across at least 18 provinces including Ankara, Istanbul, Kocaeli, Bursa, Izmir, Konya, Bingol, Adana, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Kilis, Hatay, Corum, Antalya, Diyarbakir and Van. 

Anti-terrorism police in the capital Ankara detained 60 Daesh-linked suspects early Sunday morning.

In Istanbul and northwestern Kocaeli, a total of 18 people -- 14 of them foreigners, including 10 minors -- were arrested for having alleged links to the Daesh terrorist group. 

The operations were conducted in 20 different addresses in Istanbul’s Beyoglu, Esenler, Sisli, Bagcilar, Maltepe, and Sultanbeyli districts as well as one address in Kocaeli. 

In the Aegean province of Izmir, security forces also held at least nine Daesh suspects who were allegedly preparing for a terrorist attack.

During the operation, officers seized organizational documents, a hunting rifle, an unlicensed gun, and a number of books written by Fetullah Gulen, the leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen have been blamed for last July’s coup attempt, which martyred at least 248 people and wounded around 2,200 others.

In the raids, anti-terror squads apprehended 46 suspects in northwestern Bursa, 47 in southern Gaziantep, 100 in southeastern Sanliurfa, 10 in eastern Adiyaman, 37 in central Konya, 10 in eastern Bingol, 25 in southern Adana, two in eastern Malatya, four in southern Kilis, 38 in southern Hatay, 17 in central Corum, 4 in southeastern Diyarbakir, 10 in southern Antalya, and eight in eastern Van province.

Turkey has taken steps to crack down on Daesh since 2014, when the terror group launched a series of suicide bombings in Turkey.

Separately, Turkey has also been conducting Operation Euphrates Shield, which began last August to improve security and eliminate the terror threat from Daesh as well as other terrorist groups along Turkey’s southern border with Syria.

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