Turkish security forces claim they have arrested at least 21 suspected members of the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group during separate but simultaneous operations carried out across the country.
Turkey is known as a staunch supporter of ISIL which has been wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.
Police detained the suspects in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul, as well as the southeastern province of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border, southern Mersin Province and the northwestern province of Kocaeli on Friday.
Three foreign nationals, whose nationalities weren’t immediately disclosed, were among those arrested. They were reportedly planning to cross into Syria to join ISIL ranks.
The detainees are believed to have been working to recruit fighters from Europe for the extremist group, and then help them travel to Syria.
Police also seized two rifles, large amounts of ammunition, documents belonging to ISIL, electronic equipment and military uniforms during the raids.
The arrests were made after several recent media reports blew the lid off Anakra’s support for the ISIL terrorists in neighboring Syria.
Last month, center-left Turkish daily Cumhuriyet released a video implicating the country’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in assisting the notorious Takfiri group.
On June 12, Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman also revealed that Ankara allows ISIL terrorists to freely walk in the streets of the Akcakale border district in Sanliurfa.
Meanwhile, the US State Department, in an annual report entitled “Country Reports on Terrorism 2014” issued on June 19, said that foreign terrorists have used Turkey as their “main transit route” to Iraq and Syria.
“By virtue of its location, the international transport hubs on its territory, and its long border with Syria and Iraq, Turkey remained the main transit route for foreign terrorist fighters” last year, the report said.
By Press TV