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How Istanbul Became a Recruiting Ground for Islamic State

How Istanbul Became a Recruiting Ground for Islamic State

As the ISIS threat continues to sweep across Iraq and Syria, Newsweek reports that one of the major cities of neighbouring Turkey has become a “recruiting ground” for the extremist group:

When Deniz Sahin’s ex-husband phoned out of the blue to say he wanted to see their two young children, the call came as a welcome surprise. The father, a former alcoholic, who had kicked his addiction and turned instead to fundamentalist Islam, had shown little interest in his children for the past year, but she thought they missed him.

“I told him not to be more than two hours,” says 28-year-old Deniz, who weeps silently as she pores over photographs of Halil Ibrahim, 4, and Esma Sena, 10. After their father, Sadik, picked them up from their home in Kazan, near Turkey’s capital Ankara, in April, she never saw them again.

In one of the pictures, which were sent by Sadik a week after their disappearance, a smiling Halil Ibrahim clutches a pistol. The index finger of his other hand is held skyward in a gesture associated with the Middle East’s most feared armed group: the so-called Islamic State, also known by its former acronym Isis. The children now live with their jihadist father in Syria’s Isis-controlled Raqqa province. They are among an unknown number of Turks – potentially in the thousands – being abducted or lured into Syria and Iraq either to populate Isis’ self-declared caliphate or to fight in its bloody sectarian war.

Read more at Newsweek

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