Turkey detains 16 suspected Nusra Front militants
Turkey on Wednesday detained 16 members of al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front in a major police operation in the east of the country, reports said.
The suspects were detained in raids on 20 addresses in the eastern region of Adiyaman north of the Syrian border, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
It said the raids targeted people believed to be connected to fighting in Syria, without giving further details. Their nationalities were not disclosed.
The police failed to find four more suspects at their homes. At least two of those detained at previously been to Syria, it said.
The al-Nusra Front shares some of the aims of the Islamic State (IS) militant group but has also on occasion fought against it.
This was one of the first times there has been a report of a major operation against suspected members of the group in Turkey.
Turkey has been accused in the past by its Western allies of not doing enough in the fight against IS and al-Nusra, although it has noticeably tightened border security in recent months and detained dozens of IS suspects.
Ankara has also been charged by some commentors on occasion of even collaborating with al-Nusra Front as a useful ally in its drive to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power.
Turkey bitterly rejects the claims, saying it categorises the al-Nusra Front - like IS - as a terror outfit.