Turkey begins deporting 'foreign terrorist fighters': ministry

November 11, 2019

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"One American foreign terrorist fighter was deported from Turkey after completing the procedures," said spokesman Ismail Catakli, according to state news agency Anadolu. — Photo courtesy Ismail Catakli Twitter
"One American foreign terrorist fighter was deported from Turkey after completing the procedures," said spokesman Ismail Catakli, according to state news agency Anadolu. — Photo courtesy Ismail Catakli Twitter

Turkey has deported an American foreign terrorist fighter, and seven more from Germany are to be expelled later in the week, an interior ministry spokesman said Monday.

"One American foreign terrorist fighter was deported from Turkey after completing the procedures," said spokesman Ismail Catakli, according to state news agency Anadolu.

"The travel programme of seven foreign terrorist fighters of German origin was completed at the repatriation centres. They will be deported on November 14," he added.

Turkey has criticised Western countries for refusing to repatriate their citizens who left to join the militant Islamic State group (IS) in Syria and Iraq, and stripping some of them of their citizenship.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said last week that Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of IS in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria.

"We will send three, five, 10 people back," Soylu said on Friday.

"There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want," he added.

It remains unclear whether Turkey will be able to repatriate those who have lost their citizenship.

Although the 1961 New York Convention made it illegal to leave people stateless, several countries, including Britain and France, have not ratified it, and recent cases have triggered prolonged legal battles.

Britain alone has stripped more than 100 people of their citizenship for allegedly joining militant groups abroad.