ISTANBUL (AFP, REUTERS) – Turkey will begin to repatriate captured Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants to their home countries as of Monday (Nov 11) , Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was quoted as saying by state media on Friday.
“We are telling them: ‘We’ll repatriate these people to you’, and we are starting as of Monday,” the state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Mr Soylu as saying.
Turkey has long criticised its European allies for refusing to take back ISIS fighters who are their citizens, and on Monday warned that Ankara would send captured jihadists back to their countries even if their citizenships have been revoked.
Earlier this week, Mr Soylu said Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of ISIS in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria.
It remains unclear whether Turkey will be able to repatriate those who have lost their citizenship.
Although under the New York Convention of 1961, it is illegal to leave someone stateless, several countries, including Britain and France, have not ratified it, and recent cases have triggered prolonged legal battles.
Britain has stripped more than 100 people of their citizenship for allegedly joining jihadist groups abroad.
High-profile cases such as teenage ISIS recruit Shamima Begum, and another alleged recruit Jack Letts, have sparked court proceedings and fierce political debate in Britain.
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