Turkish army catches six ISIS recruits on Syrian border

Turkish army announces that it caught six militants of ISIS

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Six recruits suspected of attempting to join ISIS were caught on the Syrian border, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) said on Wednesday.

According to the TAF, four suspected ISIS recruits were caught in the Oguzeli district of southeastern province of Gaziantep and the other two were caught in Elbeyli district of another southeastern province of Kilis by the Turkish Army while they were illegally trying to cross into Syria.

Also, eight suspects that were caught in the central province of Konya and accused of providing militant and logistic support to ISIS were referred to the court while another suspect was released after interrogation.

The suspects were detained following an eight-month-long investigation which arrised following a tip that children of nine families in Konya had joined ISIS.

The regular jobs of the suspects were said to be butcher, iron casting, workers at machine shops or industries.

The suspects which denied the claims, were taken to Meram state hospital for screening after their questioning, followed by being transferred to a Turkish court house.  

In the meantime, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Wednesday, refuting the claims of China’s Ministry of Public Security that Uighurs which were received from Thailand are sent to fight along ISIS.

The ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic called these allegations “ridiculous” and added, "This is not an allegation to even answer; it is laughable.”

Thailand has recently decided to deport 115 Uighurs to China after  they were rescued from a human smuggling camp in 2014.

Of the 350 Uighurs, an estimated 180 - almost all women and children - have arrived in Turkey, 109 have been sent to China and around 60 are thought to remain in Thailand.

Bilgic said that Turkey would host the 60 "if they come.”

Turkey has strong cultural ties with the Uighurs living in the Xinjiang autonomous region of China, which is locally called “East Turkestan” by the Uighurs themselves.

The region consists of nearly 45 percent Turkic-Muslim Uighurs while ethnically Han Chinese make up almost 40 percent of the region’s total population.

The US State Department’s 2014 report shed light on China’s human rights abuses, which has been reportedly increasing both in Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Uighurs are subjected to discrimination in many respects including being prevented from practising their faith openly, the banning of beards and headscarves and being prevented from teaching their children the Quran. Officials and people younger than 18 are banned from participating in religious activities.

TRTWorld and agencies