Ankara, January 13, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Turkey has captured dozens of people with suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including three Russian citizens, in the wake of a deadly attack on a tourist spot in Istanbul which killed 10 foreign nationals and wounded 15 others.
Eight suspects allegedly having links to ISIL were detained in the southeastern province of Kilis on Jan. 13 ahead of an illegal attempt to cross into Syria, Doğan News Agency reported, citing a written statement released by the Turkish General Staff (TSK).
In the Mediterranean province of Antalya, three Russian citizens were detained for having alleged links to ISIL in a counterterrorism police raid conducted over the deadly bombing in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet Square on Jan. 12.
The raid was conducted by Antalya Police Department Counterterrorism Unit officers on multiple homes in Antalya’s Döşemealtı district on Jan. 13, as Turkish security personnel stepped up efforts in the fight against ISIL after an ISIL militant detonated a suicide bomb in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square, killing 10 Germans and injuring several other people, including a Norwegian, a Peruvian and Turks.
In a separate raid in the southern province of Adana on Jan. 13, counterterrorism police detained 17 suspects, including 13 foreign nationals allegedly for having links to ISIL and four Turkish citizens who were reportedly ahead of crossing into Syria to join the jihadist group. Three of the 13 suspects were reported to be Russian citizens.
In the Central Anatolian province of Konya, four suspects were arrested on Jan. 13 on charges of “membership of and supporting a terrorist group” following their detainment for having links to ISIL.
In the Aegean province of İzmir, six suspects allegedly having links to ISIL were detained in İzmir’s Buca and Karabağlar districts early Jan. 13 in a police raid conducted by İzmir Police Department Counterterrorism Unit officers.
The anti-ISIL raids came a day after Turkish security personnel detained 22 suspects in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on Jan. 12 for having links to ISIL, hours after the deadly Sultanahmet bombing.
In the southern province of Mersin on Jan. 12, nine ISIL-linked suspects were detained in the hours following the Sultanahmet bombings in raids on separate homes in Mersin’s Tarsus, Silifke and Anamur districts.
Turkey stepped up its fight against ISIL over a two-day period following theSultanahmet bombing that killed 10 and wounded 15 others when an ISIL militant from Saudi origin detonated himself at an ancient statue at the Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul’s Fatih district on Jan. 12.
Source: The Journal of Turkish Weekly