Turkey detains nine British citizens for trying to enter Syria

Published April 2nd, 2015 - 09:21 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Nine British citizens detained Wednesday for trying to illegally cross into Syria, were sent to the foreigners’ office, a branch of the Turkish police, for deportation, officials said early Thursday.

Authorities also said the British citizens underwent medical exams and fingerprinting before being sent to the foreigners' office, they added.

Earlier, Turkish officials had told The Anadolu Agency that the British citizens, including four children and two women, along with a French citizen, were detained Wednesday in Turkey’s southern provinces of Hatay and Gaziantep.

The nine British suspects were detained at the Hatay Ogulpinar patrol border post, the Turkish Armed Forces said Wednesday in an official statement online.

"Turkey has foiled an attempt of nine British citizens to enter Syria and detained them," the statement said.

"We are in contact with the Turkish authorities and stand ready to provide consular assistance as required," the UK Foreign Office said.

Separately, security officials also detained an Algerian-born French citizen in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.

The office said the French citizen was arrested for allegedly trying to cross the border into Syria to join a militant group.

Turkish officials have repeatedly said they are cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters into its volatile neighboring countries.

Turkey shares an 800-km long border with Syria.

Thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world are believed to have joined terrorist organizations, including Daesh, in Syria and Iraq.

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