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Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu speaks during a news conference for foreign media correspondents in Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2019. [Reuters]

Turkey has started the repatriation of captured Islamic State militants, state broadcaster TRT Haber said on Monday after the Turkish interior minister warned last week that Ankara would do so even if the prisoners had their citizenship revoked.

It was not immediately clear how many jihadists would be repatriated. President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Friday that there are 1,201 Islamic State prisoners in Turkish prisons, while Turkey had captured 287 militants in Syria.

Istanbul revealed that it deported an American foreign fighter and will soon deport another seven Germans. A spokesman for the interior ministry was quoted as saying on Monday after state media said Ankara began repatriation of captured Islamic State militants.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had warned last week that Ankara would begin to send back Islamic State militants to their home countries on Monday even if their citizenships have been revoked.

“One American foreign terrorist fighter whose proceedings are completed has been deported,” ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

“Travel plans for seven foreign terrorist fighters of German origin at deportation centers have been completed, they will be deported on Nov. 14,” he added.


TRT Haber Turkey Islamic State militants
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