Turkey emphasizes role in fight against ISIL

Turkish Deputy PM Arinc has reiterated Turkey's part in international fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Turkish Deputy PM Arinc has reiterated Turkey's part in international fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

ANKARA - Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc reiterated on Saturday that Turkey is a part of the international fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. 

Speaking to Kuwaiti journalists in the Turkish capital Ankara, Arinc stressed that ISIL has nothing to do with Islam and humanity. 

He said Turkey has stopped and deported over a thousand foreign fighters coming to join ISIL from European countries including Britain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the Balkan countries. 

The issue of foreign fighters joining the extremist groups in Syria and Iraq has been on the global agenda for some time. 

Turkish authorities have repeatedly said no foreign fighters will be allowed to cross Turkey to reach Iraq or Syria, whether they fight for the Syrian opposition or for ISIL.

The Turkish Deputy PM also answered questions over Turkey-Egypt relations. 

He said Turkey wants “zero problems” with its neighboring countries. "If there is a deterioration in relations between the two countries, we are not the destructive party."

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been tense since July 2013, when the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted by current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief. 

"We want peace to dominate in the region and countries to have good relations. We also want to improve our relations with all countries, including Egypt. However, the Egyptian government should change its current policy over human rights violations. Unfair accusations, illegal trials and political executions in the country should stop," Turkish Deputy PM Arinc said.

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