Turkey is following through on its promise to repatriate captured Islamic State terrorists, signalling Monday that NATO allies France, Germany, Denmark, and the U.S. will be the first on the receiving end of returned jihadists.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu warned last week Ankara would begin to send back Islamic State militants to their home countries even if their citizenships have been revoked, as Breitbart News reported.
Turkey’s warning came despite the unwillingness of Europe states to take them in, with the UK in particular even going so far as to strip known jihadis of their citizenship.
“We are not going to keep them until the end of time,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters. “We’re not a hotel for Daesh,” he said, using another name for Islamic State.
Now the process has begun.
“One American foreign terrorist fighter whose proceedings are completed has been deported,” ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli was quoted Monday as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
“Travel plans for seven foreign terrorist fighters of German origin at deportation centers have been completed, they will be deported on Nov. 14,” he added.
Cataki did not immediately provide further information on the terror suspects but said they were being held in deportation centers.
“A foreign terrorist fighter from the United States has been deported from Turkey after the procedures were completed,” Anadolu quoted Catakli as saying. Another 11 French nationals are also being prepared to be sent back, AFP reports.
Turkey has over the past few weeks criticized Western nations, including Britain and the Netherlands, for refusing to take back their nationals who had joined the militant group and vowed to send back IS militants — even if their citizenship has been revoked.