Turkey will send captured Daesh/ISIS members back to Europe, where they came from, said the Turkish interior minister on Tuesday. Suleyman Soylu criticized Belgium officials’ suggestion that trials of Daesh/ISIS members should be where the crimes were committed. “No matter what they [Europeans] do,” Turkey prepares to send the Daesh/ISIS members back to where they came from, Soylu said. “Why didn’t you extradite Fehriye Erdal if the trial should occur where the crime was committed? “Europe is applying double standards, as it has always done,” he added. DHKP-C terrorist Erdal and two of her associates murdered one of the most prominent business figures in Turkey, Ozdemir Sabanci of Sabanci Holding — Turkey’s leading financial conglomerate and one of the leading industrial groups — senior executive Haluk Gorgun and secretary Nilgun Hasefe in a brazen attack in 1996 at the Sabanci Center, at the holding’s main headquarters in Istanbul.
Erdal fled Turkey following the murder and it was in 1999 when she resurfaced in Belgium’s Knokke city with a fake passport. She was handed a 15-year prison sentence by a Turkish court in a trial heard in absentia.
Belgium rejected Ankara’s extradition request for Erdal as the death penalty was still in force in Turkey back then. Erdal’s request for political asylum was also rejected by Belgium.
In 2016, a Brussels criminal court ruled that Erdal should be tried in Belgium over crimes she had committed in Turkey. A Belgian prosecutor sought a 30-year aggravated prison sentence for Erdal and an additional security precaution of 15 years. The criminal court reached a verdict in 2017 in absentia, handing Erdal a 15-year sentence for her crimes committed in Turkey.
The DHKP-C is responsible for a number of terror attacks in Turkey, including a 2013 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, which martyred a Turkish security guard. The group is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.
Soylu also said Daesh/ISIS ringleader al-Baghdadi’s sister and her husband were captured by Turkey in Azaz district of Aleppo city in northwestern Syria on Monday.
He added that the necessary investigations are being carried out in Azaz.
Turkey fights against Daesh/ISIS
In Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, which was launched on Oct. 9, Turkey has fought to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates river of YPG/PKK terrorists while also making sure Daesh/ISIS prisoners are not released.
Turkey has been taking measures against Daesh/ISIS members since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
According to judicial sources, over 70,000 people have been banned entry to the country, and over 7,000 linked to terrorist groups or fugitives have been deported. Turkey criticized European countries for allowing those people to reach its borders.
Since Turkey recognized Daesh/ISIS as a terrorist group in 2013, Turkey has been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people, including police officers and soldiers, and injured hundreds.
In response to these attacks, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 Daesh/ISIS terrorists and arresting 5,500.
* Writing and contribution by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak