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Turkey started ISIS deportations, one militant lands in buffer zone with Greece

Turkey has started the deportation of ISIS members of foreign nationality back to their home country. One of them landed in the buffer zone between Turkey and Greece.

The man who according to Turkish media is a US citizen was deported by Turkey to Greece in the land borders in North-West or North-East respectively. However, the Greek border control refused to accept the man, while Turkish authorities did not allow him back.

Consequently, the man is stuck in the buffer zone between the two countries.

Why did Turkey decide to deport a US citizens to Greece is not known.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said earlier on Monday that it had deported two captives from the Islamic State – a German and an American. It remains unclear whether this is the same person in the buffer zone.

Greek private Alpha TV reported later that the man was a US citizen of Arab origin, whose Turkish visa had expired. Greek authorities denied him entry to the country as they had no reason to allow him in. The man was reportedly not on international or European ‘Wanted’ lists.

Turkish journalists posted on social media

Here is why Turkey tried to deport an ISIS fighter, a US citizen, to Greece;

• Turkey sought to deport him to US. Washington blocked it
• Legally he has a right to choose a second place for deportation and a mean of transportation
• He chose Greece through land entrance

Ankara said it has captured 287 ISIS militants in northeast Syria and already holds hundreds more Islamic State suspects. It has accused European countries of being too slow to take back citizens who travelled to fight in the Middle East.

Allies have worried that ISIS militants could escape as a result of the assault against Kurdish militia who have been holding thousands of the group’s fighters and tens of thousands of their family members.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had said last week Turkey would begin to send foreign Islamic State militants back to their home countries starting on Monday, even if the nations the fighters came from had revoked their citizenship.

Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli said one American and one German were deported on Monday. He did not specify where they were sent, although Turkey has repeatedly said detainees would be sent to their native countries.

The 23 others to be deported in coming days were all European, including a Dane expected to be sent abroad later on Monday, as well as two Irish nationals, nine other Germans and 11 French citizens.

“Efforts to identify the nationalities of foreign fighters captured in Syria have been completed, with their interrogations 90% finished and the relevant countries notified,” Catakli said, according to state-owned Anadolu news agency.

According to reuters, Germany’s foreign ministry said Ankara had informed Berlin of 10 people – three men, five women and two children. A spokesman said he did not know whether any were Islamic State fighters, but did not contest their citizenship. The ministry said seven were expected on Thursday and two on Friday.

The Danish Public Prosecutor said on Monday that Denmark and Turkey were in contact over a Danish citizen convicted of terrorism charges in Turkey.

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said she was not aware of the turkish deportations plans.

A Dutch court in The Hague ruled on Monday the Netherlands must help repatriate children of women who joined Islamic State, but the mothers do not need to be accepted back.

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One comment

  1. Aside from the interesting legal technicalities and the turkish provocation de jour – Being stuck between two countries like that and they both don’t want you. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person though.