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11.11.2019 Europe

French jihadists to be arrested on arrival if deported from Turkey

French jihadists to be arrested on arrival if deported from Turkey
NOV 11, 2019 EUROPE

Turkey is preparing to deport 11 French citizens, mostly women, who joined the Islamic State in Syria. The French government says they will be arrested as they leave the airplane.

The Turkish government said on Monday that 11 foreign Islamic State terrorists “of French origin” were being prepared for deportation.

The jihadists to be deported were mostly women, a source working on the case said.

Terrorists from Ireland, Germany and Denmark were also in line, while an American terrorist fighter had already been expelled to the USA.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu claimed last week to have nearly 1,200 foreign IS members in custody.

"There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want," Soylu told Western powers.

Western countries have been refusing to repatriate their citizens who joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Some of them have been stripped of their citizenship, a move likely to complicate the deportation process further.

Normal but 'secret' procedure for France
Over the weekend, a French foreign ministry source said that jihadist suspects were frequently repatriated to France under a 2014 agreement with Turkey, and that the system was functioning well.

"Jihadists and their families are regularly sent back to France and arrested as they leave the airplance. Most of the time it is done secretly. The news is not published, or released much later," the source said

Offensive against Kurdish militants
Last month, Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria against Kurdish militants who were holding thousands of IS fighters and their families.

Following the operation, the Turkish government has increased pressure on Europe to take responsibility for the problem.

Turkey said it would take control of captured jihadists in areas that it seized from Kurdish groups, but has demanded greater assistance from Europe.