Turkey detains 35 Daesh-linked suspects in counterterrorism operations

Turkish security forces detained 35 Daesh-linked suspects in counterterrorism operations in 15 provinces, reports said Tuesday.

Police carried out raids in the Gaziantep-based operation and confiscated organizational materials, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

In Istanbul, police detained 16 suspects in 20 different addresses in five districts, including Fatih, Başakşehir, Küçükçekmece, Bayrampaşa and Eyüp.

Special operations squads carried out the raids.

The suspects were transferred to the police station as part of the investigation.

Security forces are still looking for other suspects, reports said.

The terrorist group has been trying to establish a new formation in Turkey after receiving a heavy blow in Iraq and Syria. According to testimony by terrorists detained in previous operations in Adana province, Daesh had been attempting to kidnap judges, prosecutors and tourist groups as ransom in return for Daesh terrorists held in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey detained the so-called “Turkey emir” of Daesh, named Mahmut Özden, in August. He was planning to carry out an attack on Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and target politicians, nongovernmental organization (NGO) heads and other prominent figures in Turkey, according to the official investigation.

In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare Daesh a terrorist group.

The country has since been attacked by Daesh terrorists multiple times, with at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks and four armed attacks that killed 315 people and injured hundreds more. The last attack was in January 2017 when a gunman killed 39 people at an elite Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations.

In response, Turkey launched military and police operations both inside and outside the country, capturing top Daesh members in counterterrorism efforts at home and in Syria.

Although the terrorist group has been largely defeated in Iraq and Syria, its presence still poses a threat, as individuals following its ideology encourage others to carry out violence.

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