Ankara Police Arrest 14 ISIS Suspects of Planning Attack on Turkey's Sunday Elections

Published June 23rd, 2018 - 07:23 GMT
People sit next to campaign posters for parliamentary elections at a cafe in the northern part of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on January 3, 2018. (AFP/ File)
People sit next to campaign posters for parliamentary elections at a cafe in the northern part of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on January 3, 2018. (AFP/ File)
Fourteen suspected members of the Islamic State group were arrested on Friday by Turkish authorities in Ankara and are accused of planning an attack on elections this weekend, reported the state-run Anadolu news agency.
 

The 14, all of whom are foreign nationals, were detained in simultaneous morning raids on their residences in the capital added the news agency.

Large amounts of material were seized in the raids, but no details were given on the nature of the attack's timing and location, or the nationality of the suspects.

A series of deadly terror attacks have struck Turkey since 2015 and 2016, with most carried out by the Islamic State fighters or Kurdish rebels.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek a new mandate as well as a parliamentary majority for his ruling party in Sunday's polls, which are expected to take place under tight security.

The state of emergency was enforced in July 2016, five days after elements of the Turkish military went rogue and attempted a coup against the government.

Since then, the law has been used to round up thousands of suspected coup sympathisers and supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for the revolt.

Critics say the laws have been used by Erdogan to round up any political opponents.

Erdogan had earlier indicated that the state of emergency could be about to end, although this would not necessarily mean an end to the crackdown which has seen 55,000 people detained.

"Lifting the state of emergency does not mean completely eliminating it or returning back to as we were," he added.

"When we see terrorism, we take the strictest measures to stop it. Did France completely abolish its state of emergency?"

Erdogan said last year that the laws would not be lifted until "peace is restored".

 This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

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