TURKEY

Nearly 1,500 Daesh suspects held in Istanbul in 2017

At total of 1,447 people, including foreigners, were arrested in Istanbul for their suspected links to Daesh terrorist organization in 2017.

According to information compiled by Anadolu Agency, the Istanbul Police Department's Counter-Terrorism Unit teams conducted 58 operations against Daesh terror organization in 2017.

The police arrested 1,141 foreigners during the operations, while the intelligence service prevented many armed and bomb attacks.

A Turkish court ruled that 44 suspects must remain in detention in the case of the New Year's Eve attack at Reina nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy District in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017.

Abdulkadir Masharipov is among 57 defendants -- 51 of whom are in jail -- being tried in connection with the attack on the nightclub.

At least 39 people, including a police officer, were killed and 79 other were injured when a gunman opened fire at the nightclub.

Masharipov, 34, was arrested from the residential Istanbul neighborhood of Esenyurt after a 17-day manhunt.

He told investigators he had received orders for the attack from Raqqah, which served as Daesh's de facto capital in Syria at that time.

On Aug. 13, the team of Istanbul anti-terror branch detained 12 foreigners, who were plotting a terror attack.

- TERROR PLOT THWARTED
While bringing them to a police station, one of the suspects stabbed police officer Sinan Acar. The policeman was admitted to hospital, where he breathed his last.

The anti-terror branch office also prevented many terror attacks by rounding up several suspected Daesh members in various operations.

During an operation on March 16, anti-terror police raided a cell house in Istanbul's Kağıthane district and held Uzbek nationals, identified by the initials C.C and I.D., who were preparing to carry out Reina nightclub-like attack.

The police seized two Kalashnikov rifles, ammunition, documents related to the Daesh terror group and digital equipment.

On Oct. 28, four Daesh suspects, including two females, were arrested as they attempted to bomb a parking area in a shopping mall in Bayrampaşa district of Istanbul.

The arrest came a day before millions of Turks across the country celebrated the 94th anniversary of the proclamation of Republic of Turkey.

The suspects were held in the car park area of Forum Istanbul shopping mall, which is located in the European part of the city.

The police seized 66 bombs, four suicide vests, and two guns and many bullets.

An arrest warrant issued against Daesh member Talip Akkurt, who crossed into Syria from Turkey's bordering Gaziantep province in 2016. On Jan. 27, six people associated with Akkurt were detained.

- TOP RANKING DAESH MEMBERS
A total of 69 people, including 29 children, were held during operations in ten locations in Istanbul's district of Başakşehir on the European side and in the district of Pendik on the Asian side.

Four other suspected Daesh members were apprehended in Istanbul on April 14, before the April 16 constitutional referendum in Turkey.

Also, the police on April 15 arrested a total of 49 people, including 41 foreigners, who were plotting to carry out a terror attack before the referendum.

On Sept. 10, Turkish police arrested 25 Daesh suspects, including three top ranking members and 22 foreign nationals, as part of the ongoing nationwide counter-terrorism operations.

The teams had launched operations to capture the three top ranking members of Daesh responsible for planning and directing attacks.

A number of documents and digital material linked to Daesh terrorist group have also been seized during the raids in two different districts of Istanbul.

On Dec. 8, a total of five suspects, including four foreign nationals, were arrested over alleged links to the terrorist organization during counter-terror operations in Başakşehir and Sultangazi districts of Istanbul.

Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to thwart Daesh attacks. More than 300 people have lost their lives in Daesh-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bombings, and rocket-and-gun attacks.

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