Turkey will begin repatriation of jihadists imprisoned to their countries of origin in Europe

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Mikel AyestaranMikel Ayestaran




After the threat of opening the doors of Turkey to allow the exit of 3.6 million Syrian refugees to Europe, a second threat came: the repatriation of foreign fighters of the jihadist group Islamic State (EI) who remain prisoners in Turkish prisons. The Ankara government is upset with the criticism that the military operation in northern Syria, launched on October 9 with the aim of creating a "security zone," has provoked among European countries and that is why it moves again. «We tell you, we will repatriate these people and we will start on monday», Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced, without specifying which countries will be the first to receive jihadists and whether the measure affects only Europe or also prisoners from other continents. Soylu said that this measure will be implemented even if the nations of origin have withdrawn nationality to the combatants.

The warning of the head of Turkish Interior came 24 hours after Recep Tayyip Erdogan It will indicate that in its prisons they have 1,149 members of the EI, of which 737 have foreign nationality. Turkish forces have also arrested others 287 jihadists since the beginning of its operation in northern Syria. In recent weeks, Kurds and Turks have accused each other of releasing IS prisoners who were being held in camps controlled by Kurdish militias. “They say they must be tried where they have been arrested, but I suppose this must be a new international law… It is not possible to accept it. We will send them back whether they have revoked their citizenship or not, ”Soylu insisted.

Turkey endorses in this way the speech of the American president, Donald Trump, who also criticized European countries for not taking charge of their jihadists and leaving them in the legal limbo of the Kurdish detention camps, with which the United States fought to end the caliphate and those who later abandoned.

Quadripartite Summit

This new threat from Turkey was made public at the same time that a presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, announced the agreement for the celebration of "a four-party summit outside the NATO meeting", which will take place on December 3 and 4 near London. The central theme of this parallel meeting will be Syria and Turkey, France, Germany and the United Kingdom will take part. Erdogan, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson will have the opportunity to speak face-to-face about the return of the jihadists or the tensions generated by the operation ‘Source of Peace’ in northern Syria.

The Islamist leader accuses Europeans of "sided with terrorists," in reference to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the dominant militia in this part of Kurdistan and which is the Syrian arm of the Workers Party of the Kurdistan (PKK). Erdogan said his country "is not going to withdraw from Syria until the rest of the foreign forces present" and recalled that "we share a border of 911 kilometers. Neither Russia, nor the United States nor Iran has a border with Syria ».

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