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Only Turkey doing the most against IS: Envoy Burak Akcapar

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, April 5: Turkey is the only country doing the most and is at the forefront to contain the Islamic State threat, Turkey’s ambassador to India Burak Akcapar has said. “We are the only one (country) who is doing more than necessary to contain the threat. We are at the forefront of the efforts in this regard,” Akcapar told IANS in an interview. “We are hosting so many refugees from Syria, close to two million in our country. We are doing a lot of humanitarian efforts; We are, perhaps one of the most consistent countries to call for a political solution in Syria,” said Akcapar.

He said that terrorism exists as long as governments have sectarian leanings. “We have always advised everyone in the region that extremism will only be exacerbated as long as we have sectarian thinking governments in place, which was the case in Iraq in the previous government and which is still the case in Damascus,” added Akcapar. The ambassador talked about “source countries and accused them of not sharing intelligence about their citizens using Turkey to slip into IS territory.

“One big problem we have is that the level of cooperation we have with the source countries, countries in Europe and elsewhere that provide these foreign fighters, we do not get intelligence about them coming to Turkey for the purposes of going into Syrian Iraq.” He said Turkey is making intensive efforts at its border with Iraq, which is 370 km long, but ruled out closing the border. Akcapar said the only way to completely stop foreign fighters from joining the IS via Turkey is to completely close the Turkish border to all aircraft coming from everywhere. “That is not possible; this is not going to happen.” “I think the countries from where these foreign fighters are stemming, they should deal with this fact in their own home countries. Why are these people travelling from U K and from all these other countries to Syria and Iraq? I think those countries and the governments should focus on that, rather than trying to put the blame on somebody else. And we are the only one doing a lot and making very strong efforts.”

The Indian government also sought Turkey’s support in freeing 40 Indians abducted by the IS in Mosul when the foreign minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, visited India on January 16 this year. Recent media reports threw some light on Turkey’s efforts to foil the attempts of people interested in joining the IS ranks via Turkey, as claimed by Cavusoglu.

He gave some statistics about IS supporters from various tiolities trying to sneak into the warzone. According to Cavusoglu, around 1,154 foreign fighters were deported from Turkey and 19,500 people were banned from entering Turkey. As many as 16 Indonesians were captured in their bid to cross over to Syria. Earlier this year, three British high school girls evaded detection and successfully slipped into the IS controlled warzone. Despite all these claims by Turkey, it is being flayed for not taking enough responsibility in thwarting the Islamic State and also fighting allegations that some IS fighters are getting treated in Turkish hospitals. (IANS)

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