Anti-terrorism police have detained almost 500 Islamic State Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects during raids at different addresses across Turkey early on Feb. 5 as part of an operation against the jihadist group, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Police detained at least 60 ISIL suspects, mostly foreigners, in the Sincan, Çubuk, Yenimahalle and Mamak districts of Ankara. Meanwhile, 18 ISIL suspects were detained by police in the Marmara provinces of Kocaeli and Istanbul.
The suspects, which reportedly included key figures of the organization, were taken into custody during simultaneous operations in the Esenler, Şişli, Bağcılar, Bahçelievler, Maltepe, Beyoğlu and Ümraniye districts of Istanbul.
A number of documents related to ISIL were seized at the addresses and vehicles of the detained suspects. At least 14 foreigners, 10 of whom were minors, were sent to the provincial police headquarters for deportation proceedings.
Another ISIL 150 suspects of Syrian origin were also detained in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. During the raids, police also seized a number of documents that were allegedly related to the militant group.
Some 46 ISIL suspects were also detained in the Marmara province of Bursa.
The suspects, most of whom are of foreign origin, were detained in the northwestern province’s Nilüfer, Osmangazi, Yıldırım, Gürsu and Orhaneli districts.
At least 75 ISIL suspects were subjected to a detention warrant in the Central Anatolian province of Konya as part of an investigation that was conducted by the local chief prosecutor’s office. In the first stage of the operation, police succeeded in detaining 30 alleged members of the group.
Some 25 ISIL suspects were also detained while they were allegedly preparing an attack in the Mediterranean province of Adana.
Around 500 police officers raided 53 different addresses in two neighborhoods of the city, detaining the 25.
Elsewhere, nine ISIL suspects were detained in the Aegean province of İzmir. According to police sources, suspects were reportedly preparing an attack in the Menemen district of İzmir. Police also seized a shotgun and an unlicensed pistol.
Police further detained 10 ISIL suspects who were allegedly trying to gather sympathizers for the organization during raids in the southeastern province of Adıyaman.
Meanwhile, 12 ISIL suspects were detained during raids in the eastern province of Elazığ while a police operation was continuing in an effort to detain 16 more ISIL suspects. The detained suspects were sent to the hospital for medical examinations before their testimonies.
Some 38 ISIL suspects were also detained in the southern province of Hatay in police operations.
In separate operations, police also detained 17 suspects, seven of whom were military officers, on allegations that they were linked to Fethullah Gülen, who is alleged to have masterminded the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
Turkey was in 2016 shaken by a string of attacks blamed on ISIL and outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) that left hundreds dead.
Recently, 39 people were killed, mainly foreigners, in the earlier hours of the new year when a gunman went on a rampage inside a posh Istanbul nightclub.
ISIL claimed responsibility for the massacre, making it the first time it had claimed responsibility for an attack on Turkish soil since its first large-scale attack on July 20, 2015.
Police detained the suspected attacker, Abdulkadir Masharipov of Uzbekistan, on Jan. 16 after he spent over two weeks on the run.
Masharipov has claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities have said.