Turkey’s anti-terrorism police have detained over 440 people for alleged links to Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, the state-run news agency reported Sunday. The Anadolu Agency said 60 suspects, the vast majority of them foreigners, were arrested early Sunday in the capital, Ankara.
Suspected terrorists were arrested in 18 provinces, in rural provinces as well as in Turkey’s two largest cities. A total of 18 were detained in Istanbul, while police arrested 60 in the capital, Ankara. Several dozens suspected Islamic State members were rounded-up in Sanliurfa province, which borders Syria.
The arrests were made in a nationwide security operation, according to local reports, just a month after the terror group claimed responsibility for an attack on an Istanbul nightclub.
The largest operation was in the southeast province of Sanliurfa, where police took into custody more than 100 suspects from multiple addresses and found materials relating to Islamic State militants.
Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance and the U.S-led coalition against IS. It shares borders with Syria and Iraq, two war-torn nations at the heart of the fight against Daesh militants.
Turkish forces have been deployed in Syria since August with the aim of clearing a border patch of IS militants and Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers related to its own Kurdish insurgency.