Turkey: 10,000 potential foreign fighters banned entry

About 10,000 people are banned from entering Turkey in order to prevent the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, Turkey's interior minister says

About 10,000 people are banned from entering Turkey in order to prevent the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, Turkey's interior minister says

ANKARA - About 10,000 people are banned from entering Turkey as they were suspected of joining terrorist groups, Turkey’s Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Wednesday.

“We have imposed entry bans on 9,955 people from 91 countries,” Minister Ala told The Anadolu Agency, where he attended the AA Editor's Desk meeting.

He added that people’s names had been reported from different countries, as well as confirmed by Turkey.

Turkey has joined other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq. 

According to the UN, more than 13,000 fighters from more than 80 countries have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

European countries have not shown sufficient attention to the Syrian civil war, the country’s citizens and foreign fighters, Ala stated.

“While we are dealing with the flame, they are struggling for the flame’s smoke not to reach them,” he said, “If they want to solve this problem, we should put out this fire together.”

Ala said that Western countries should prevent suspected foreign fighter’s departures, while Turkey was preventing the entry of such people and deporting them back to their countries.

“They are sending them here, as well as informing us about it,” he said, adding, “Why are you sending this problem here? Anyhow we are sending them back.”

He also stated that Turkey knew about at least 700 Turks who have left to Syria to fight with terrorist organizations and that these cases were being watched. 

- General elections

The interior minister was also asked about claims that the “parallel state” would support the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, in the upcoming general elections.

“They formed an alliance with the Republican People’s Party, CHP. After achieving this they could form it with any other party,” Ala said.

Minister Ala said that during the last local elections in August 2014 the “parallel state” supported the opposition and helped print and hand out campaign brochures.

“We should not forget that in a democracy the only solution is to form an alliance with the country’s people,” he added.

The country’s national parliament elections will be held on June 7, where 31 political parties will vie for the parliament’s 550 seats.

Turkey had held general elections every five years until a 2007 constitutional change, which set elections every four years.

In the last general election held in 2011, the ruling Justice and Development, or AK, Party received almost 50 percent of the votes.

The AK Party, which has been in power for more than a decade in Turkey, was victorious in last year’s March local election and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential election in August 2014.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency