Turkey to send captured foreign Daesh fighters home, says minister

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Turkey had 1,200 foreign Daesh fighters in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria. (Reuters)
Updated 08 November 2019

Turkey to send captured foreign Daesh fighters home, says minister

  • Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu: There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want
  • Turkey has criticized Western countries for refusing to repatriate their citizens who left to join Daesh in Syria and Iraq

ISTANBUL: Turkey will start sending foreign extremists back to their home countries next week, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Friday.
“Now we are telling you that we are going to send them back to you. We are starting this on Monday,” Soylu said in a speech in Ankara, referring to members of the Daesh group.
Earlier this week, Soylu said Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of Daesh in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria.
“We will send three, five, 10 people back,” Soylu said in the speech, which was shown online by local media.
“There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want,” he added.
Turkey has criticized Western countries for refusing to repatriate their citizens who left to join Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and stripping some of them of their citizenship.
It remains unclear whether Turkey will be able to repatriate those who have lost their citizenship.
Although under the New York Convention of 1961, it is illegal to leave someone stateless, several countries, including Britain and France, have not ratified it, and recent cases have triggered prolonged legal battles.
Britain has stripped more than 100 people of their citizenship for allegedly joining extremist groups abroad.
High-profile cases such as teenage Daesh recruit Shamima Begum, and another alleged recruit Jack Letts, have sparked court proceedings and fierce political debate in Britain.


Daesh fighter stuck on Turkey-Greece borders returned to US

Updated 15 November 2019

Daesh fighter stuck on Turkey-Greece borders returned to US

  • Minister Suleyman Soylu: The American on the shared border with Greece has just been expelled from Istanbul by plane to the United States
  • The man, identified as Muhammad Darwis B, a US citizen of Jordanian descent, was captured in Syria on suspicion of ties to the Daesh group

ISTANBUL: A suspected US Daesh fighter, trapped for days between the Turkish and Greek borders, was sent back to the United States Friday, Turkey’s interior minister said.
“The American on the shared border with Greece has just been expelled from Istanbul by plane to the United States,” Suleyman Soylu was quoted as saying by Turkish media.
The man, identified as Muhammad Darwis B, a US citizen of Jordanian descent, was captured in Syria on suspicion of ties to the Daesh group, according to state news agency Anadolu.
Turkish authorities say the US had initially refused to accept him, and that he chose deportation to Greece, only for Greek authorities to refuse him entry on Monday.
He was trapped in no-man’s land between the borders, next to Turkey’s northeastern province of Edirne, though Turkish border guards gave him food and a car to sleep in at night, according to Anadolu.
There was an apparent breakthrough on Thursday, when Turkey said the US “committed to taking him back.”
Turkey has criticized Western countries for not taking back captured members of Daesh, and has lately publicized its efforts to deport extremists back to their countries of origin.
It follows criticism of Turkey’s offensive last month against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, which Western governments complained would undermine the fight against Daesh.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said last week that Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of Daesh in custody, and had captured 287 during the offensive in Syria.
The Hurriyet newspaper said Wednesday that 959 suspects were being prepared for deportation, with the largest numbers coming from Iraq, Syria and Russia.