Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Turkey has already deported more than 1,000 foreigners since the beginning of 2015 due to their potential connection with the Islamic State. Almost 30 percent of these people were from Western countries.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish authorities have deported over 1,000 foreigners since January due to their alleged connection with the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the country's Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Thursday during a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
"When we receive timely and actionable intelligence, we are able to stop or deport them," Yilmaz said as quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News.
The minister specified that 46 percent of those classified as persona non grata were of North African origin, and 27 percent were citizens of European and North American countries. In total, the suspects came from 74 different countries.
On February 12, some 14 people were detained by Turkish security forces on the border with Syria when they allegedly were on their way to join the IS. Turkish officials have not revealed the detainees' nationalities.
The IS controls swathes of seized land across Iraq and Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 15,000 people from over 80 nations have joined the group.
The group is famous for its rampant violence, including public beheadings of foreigners.
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