Turkey detains ISIL suspects carrying fake passports

Turkish police say they have arrested a Syrian and a Turk at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

    Turkey has imposed entry bans on 33,746 suspects from 123 countries since the Syria conflict started [Burhan Ozbilici/AP]
    Turkey has imposed entry bans on 33,746 suspects from 123 countries since the Syria conflict started [Burhan Ozbilici/AP]

    Turkish authorities say they have detained two suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group members carrying at least 150 fake passports.

    The pair, a Syrian and a Turk, flew in from Europe, according to officials, and was detained at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Thursday.

    Inside Story: Turkey's ISIL dilemma

    "Airport police... found at least 150 fake passports among their personal belongings," a Turkish government official, who asked not to be named, told the AFP news agency.

    The private Dogan news agency said that police seized European passports, which were all original and hidden inside "five mini-pizza ovens".

    Two hidden cameras, scores of memory cards and SIM cards were also seized and the suspects have been taken to the anti-terror headquarters of Istanbul police for questioning, the news agency added.

    Turkey has been criticised for not doing enough to stem the flow of fighters across its volatile border with Syria. But it has stepped up the fight after a number of deadly attacks on its soil blamed on ISIL.

    "Today's arrests exemplify how effective the anti-ISIL measures have been," added the official.

    "We look forward to working more closely with source countries to keep ISIL fighters away from Syria."

    Meanwhile, Turkey's Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that the country has imposed entry bans on 33,746 suspects from 123 countries since the Syria conflict began.

    In addition, 2,783 suspects from 89 countries have been detained in Turkey before being deported.

    SOURCE: AFP


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