Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

Turkey deports 11 French suspected ISIS members

Ankara has stepped up repatriations, saying it is not a 'hotel' for foreign militants

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously said Turkey would continue repatriating foreign ISIS militants, even if their countries decline to take them back. AFP
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously said Turkey would continue repatriating foreign ISIS militants, even if their countries decline to take them back. AFP

Four women and seven children linked to ISIS were deported to France in the latest wave of extraditions from Turkey.

Turkey's Interior Ministry said on Monday that the deportations were part of a programme launched last month to extradite "foreign terrorist fighters".

Turkey is holding hundreds of ISIS suspects but its repatriation programme has caused friction with Nato allies.

Ankara has accused European countries of being too slow to take back citizens who travelled to the Middle East to fight.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in November that Turkey would repatriate most detainees with links to ISIS by the end of this year. He said Turkey was “not a hotel” for foreign fighters.

The move is forcing European capitals to decide how to handle the return of radicalised militants, including those with battlefield experience.

More than 60 such foreign fighters have been deported, including suspected ISIS militants from the United States, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Paris signed an agreement with Turkey five years ago for French nationals arrested by Turkish authorities to be deported.

About 300 French nationals have been expelled since then, French officials have said.

France's foreign ministry and interior ministry declined to comment.

Updated: December 9, 2019 03:20 PM

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