Turkish security forces have detained at least 913 “foreign terrorist fighters,” who have links with DAESH terrorist organisation, while trying to cross the Turkish-Syrian border since the beginning of the year, security sources announced on Friday.
According to sources, the number of detainees increased rapidly in the June-December period, as 564 were detained, compared to the first six months of the year during which only 349 had been detained.
478 out of 913 suspects were detained while trying to enter Turkey from Syria, while remaining 435 were detained as they tried to cross the border into Syria.
Security officers stated that most of individuals, who were attempting to cross into Syria illegally claimed in their testimonies that they were searching for their relatives.
Those who were detained while entering Turkey declared that they were fleeing DAESH, while some of them said that they had been trained to become suicide bombers and were aiming to carry out attacks in Turkey.
The figures show that most of the terrorists were captured in Elbeyli District of Turkey’s southeastern Kilis Province, which is located near the Turkish-Syrian border.
Among the suspects, China has the highest number of detainees with 324 individuals, while Russia follows it with 99 citizens. Palestine came third with 83 citizens.
The security officers also seized weapons and other materials such as computers, money, assault vests and mobile phones, which could be used in terrorist attacks.
Security measures stepped up along the border
The Turkish Armed Forces has been taking extra security measures to prevent suspects from using the border.
Within the scope of measures, 365-kilometer long ditches have been dug and a 270 kilometer stretch on the border has been illuminated to make patrolling more effective.
Additionally, 1,280 kilometers of patrol roads have been improved.