Turkey deported three foreign jihadists yesterday, with more than 20 Europeans including French and Germans in the process of being expelled to their countries of origin.
Turkey’s interior ministry said it had deported an American and a Dane, while Germany confirmed that one of its citizens had also been expelled. Seven more Germans were due for deportation on Thursday, the Turkish ministry said, while 11 French citizens, two Irish and at least two additional Germans were also being processed.
Turkey has criticised Western countries for refusing to repatriate their citizens who left to join the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria and Iraq, and stripping some of them of their citizenship.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said last week that Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of IS in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria.
It was not clear whether those being deported were captured in Syria or Turkey.
“There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want,” Soylu said on Friday. A French official told AFP that the French nationals being expelled were mostly women. Some had been in Turkey for a long time, while others arrived recently, the official added, without giving further details.