Turkey detains hundreds of IS suspects in nationwide raids

Turkey detains hundreds of IS suspects in nationwide raids
Some 400 Islamic State suspects were arrested in raids across Turkey on Sunday, state media reported, a month after a deadly attack shook the nation.
2 min read
05 February, 2017
Turkey has been rocked with attacks claimed by the Islamic State [AFP]

Turkish police detained around 400 suspected members of the Islamic State extremist group in nationwide raids on Sunday, including foreigners and those suspected of planning attacks, reports said.

The operation around the country saw 150 suspects detained in Sanliurfa in the southeast, 60 in the capital Ankara as well as dozens more arrests in provinces ranging from Bursa in the west to Bingol in the east, the Dogan and Anadolu news agencies reported.

The raids come just over a month after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub claimed by the extremist organisation, state media said.

Those held were mainly foreign nationals, Anadolu said, without saying if they were linked to any suspected plot.

The suspects were rounded up in simultaneous raids on the Sincan, Cubuk, Yenimahalle and Mamak districts of the capital, it added.

Thirty-nine people were killed, mainly foreigners, on New Year's night when a gunman went on the rampage inside a plush Istanbul night club.

IS claimed the massacre, its first clear claim for a major attack in Turkey although it had been blamed for several bombings in 2016.

Police detained the suspected attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, on 16 January after more than two weeks on the run and authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.

The Hurriyet daily newspaper reported after the attack that IS also planned a simultaneous New Year's strike in Ankara but dropped the plot after arrests by the Turkish authorities.

Turkey was in 2016 shaken by a string of attacks blamed on IS and Kurdish militants that left hundreds dead.