Foreign ISIS/Daesh terrorists being held by Turkey will be repatriated even if their citizenship has been revoked, despite the roadblocks erected by certain countries, said Turkey's interior minister on Monday.
There are some 1,200 foreign ISIS/Daesh members being held in Turkish prisons, and nearly 300 held from Turkey’s current anti-terror operation in northern Syria, including relatives of ISIS/Daesh members, said Suleyman Soylu.
Soylu said countries which strip ISIS/Daesh members of citizenship and resist their repatriation create new problems in international law.
Countries which fail to deal humanely with immigrants and refugees now create legal problems by resisting taking back terrorists who came from their soil, he said.
Turkey has criticized countries which resist repatriating terrorists by revoking their citizenship.
Soylu said that work is being done to resolve issues with the prisoners.
Some of the ISIS/Daesh members entered Turkey in various periods and were caught, he said.
When caught, they are taken to the judicial authorities, and then either go to prisons or repatriation centers, and Turkey periodically returns them to their home countries, he explained.
"Those in the prisons are all foreign terrorist fighters, and there are also foreign terrorist fighters in the repatriation centers," Soylu said.
On minor children of Daesh members who were held in Syria, Soylu said last month, “In line with our laws, the children will be referred to related institutions to ensure their protection,” saying Turkey would accept them as Daesh-linked Turkish citizens.
According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Turkey is “ready to work together with the countries of origin and international organizations for the rehabilitation of spouses and children who have not been involved in crimes committed by foreign terrorist fighters affiliated with Daesh.”
Turkey holding back foreign fighters, fighting Daesh
In Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, which was launched on Oct. 9, Turkey has fought to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates river of YPG/PKK terrorists while also making sure ISIS/Daesh prisoners there would not gain freedom.
Turkey has been taking measures against foreign fighters since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
According to judicial sources, over 70,000 people have been banned entry to the country, and over 7,000 linked to terrorist groups or fugitives have been deported.
Turkey criticized European countries for allowing those people to reach its borders.
Since Turkey recognized Daesh/ISIS as a terrorist group in 2013, Turkey has been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists 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 these attacks, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 Daesh/ISIS terrorists and arresting 5,500.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.