Turkish Foreign Minister: 9,915 ISIL suspects on govt list

ANKARA - Turkey has deported 1,065 people suspected of having links to ISIL, Turkey's foreign minister announced Wednesday.

During a televised interview in Ankara, Cavusoglu warned of foreign fighters who desire to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by entering Iraq and Syria.

"We have a list that contains 9,915 people who are suspected of trying to join ISIL," Cavusoglu said. "1,800 of them have been reported to us by Interpol."

The EU’s law-enforcement agency Europol estimates there are between 10,000 and 12,000 foreign fighters who have been recruited recently by ISIL, an estimated 2,500 of them are of European origin.

- ISIL hostage killings

Cavusoglu also talked about the recent beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by ISIL. He also said the Japanese government had contacted Turkey to aid in the release of the murdered journalist.

"The Japanese government is being treated unfairly," said the foreign minister. "They asked for Turkey's help because we know the area, but ISIL is a terrorist group that has no rules."

A video apparently showing the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, 47, by ISIL was released online Saturday night.

Cavusoglu also offered his condolences to Jordan's people and the family of the Jordanian pilot who was burnt alive by ISIL on Tuesday. 

- Greece's economy

The foreign minister also commented on the new Greek government under Alexis Tsipras' leadership, saying that "a politically and economically strong Greece is good for resolving the Cyprus issue."

Left-wing Syriza party won the Greek parliamentary elections on Jan. 26 with just over 35 percent of the votes, making Tsipras the youngest premier in the history of the country.

Cavusoglu, however, warned about one of Syriza’s coalition partner parties, Anel, saying the populist rightwing Independent Greeks party is "anti-Turkey."

"It may be populism but we take our measures,” he added. “We don't want any more tension."  

- Gulen's passport cancelation

The Turkish government told U.S. authorities on Jan. 26 that it canceled the passport of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen for providing false statements, the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman announced Tuesday.

Cavusoglu said the judicial process is ongoing and added that the plans of the "parallel state" against Turkey have been raised with allies "many times."

When asked about what U.S. officials think of the issue and what their reactions are, Cavusoglu said: "The Americans want some judicial papers. The process will continue with the judicial papers from now on."

The parallel state refers to an alleged organization, run by the so-called Gulen movement, which is accused of infiltrating key institutions, including the police and the judiciary inside Turkey.

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