Egypt restricts women from travelling to Turkey

Move aimed at preventing women from joining ISIL comes as relations between Egypt and Turkey deteriorate.

    Women aged 18 to 40 are now required to obtain a security clearance before going to Turkey  [AP]
    Women aged 18 to 40 are now required to obtain a security clearance before going to Turkey [AP]

    Egypt has imposed restrictions on women travelling to Turkey, months after introducing similar measures for men to stop them joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

    Women aged 18 to 40 are now required to obtain a security clearance before going to Turkey, a senior police officer told the AFP news agency on Sunday.

    "A security clearance can be acquired within 72 hours, and it is now mandatory for women travelling to this country [Turkey]," the officer said.

    The restriction took effect on Thursday, a Cairo airport official said.

    In March, Egypt's state-sponsored Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, warned women against marrying ISIL fighters who wooed them over the internet to travel to ISIL-controlled territory in Syria.

    The compulsory security clearance for men, introduced in December, applies to Libya as well as Turkey.

    Allegiance to ISIL

    In November the Sinai Province group, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to ISIL, a move which heightened security concerns.

    Fighters in the group say their attacks have been in retaliation for a government crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, that has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed.

    Ties between Egypt and Turkey have deteriorated since the Egyptian army ousted President Morsi in 2013.

    Morsi himself was sentenced to death on Saturday along with more than 100 defendants for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, has condemned the verdict against Morsi, after repeatedly branding his overthrow a "coup".

    Egypt has also previously accused Ankara of "backing terrorism", although Turkey, a vocal critic of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, has denied accusations that it tolerates the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.

    Cairo has also regularly raised concerns over the war in Libya, which has plunged into chaos since the ouster and killing of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

    In February, Cairo carried out air strikes inside Libya targeting ISIL fighters, after the group posted a video showing the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians, all but one were Egyptians, on a beach in Libya.

    SOURCE: AFP


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