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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Türkiye Detains 15 for Alleged ISIS Links

Riot police officers secure the entrance of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, Turkey, January 21, 2023. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish police have arrested 15 people for alleged links to ISIS, the country's official news agency said late Saturday, following days of security warnings by Western consulates.

Anadolu news agency, sourcing an Istanbul police statement, said the group was detained for purportedly planning attacks on the Swedish and Dutch Consulates in Istanbul as well as on churches and synagogues. But the police added they couldn't ascertain any “concrete threats” against the locations.

According to The Associated Press, the intelligence that led to the police operation stated that the group may have received instructions from an affiliate of ISIS, which is active in South Asia and Central Asia.

Sweden and the Netherlands have been the subject of angry protests in Türkiye after an anti-Muslim activist burned the Quran in Stockholm, and a similar action took place in The Hague.

This week, a group of Western countries temporarily closed down their consulates in Istanbul over security concerns. Turkish government officials accused them of failing to share information on the security threat that led to the closures and of aiming to cause harm to Türkiye.

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