Turkey starts repatriating IS fighters, first deported is US national



ISTANBUL, Anindita Ramaswamy (dpa)- Turkey started the repatriation of Islamic State fighters on Monday, with the first to be deported a US national, the Interior Ministry said, according to state news agency Anadolu.
Two Islamic State fighters, one German and one Danish, are to be deported from Turkey later Monday. They are being held in deportation centres while legal proceedings are under way, Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli said.




The legal process for the US citizen was completed at a deportation centre in Turkey and he was sent back by the Migration Directorate.
This will take the total to three Islamic State fighters repatriated on Monday, Catakli added.
Seven fighters of German origin, being held at deportation centres, are set to be returned on Thursday, according to Catakli.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced last week that Turkey will start repatriating foreign Islamic State fighters to their home countries from Monday, although the details of the arrangements remain unclear.
It was also not clear where and when the militants were captured, whether they were taken into custody after Turkey launched its incursion into north-eastern Syria on October 9, or earlier.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkey has 1,149 Islamic State members "in our prisons, 737 of them are foreign nationals."
Soylu did not mention which countries they would be returned to or how.
The interior minister has previously blamed European allies, even singling out Britain and the Netherlands, for taking "the easy way" by revoking the citizenship of Islamic State militants and refusing to take them back.
"We are not a hotel for anybody's Daesh members," he recently said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
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Monday, November 11th 2019
Anindita Ramaswamy (dpa)
           


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