Ankara, Aug 26 () - Countries that accuse Turkey of not doing enough against foreign fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq have actually released foreign fighters deported by Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has stated.
“Countries that say Turkey is acting irresponsibly regarding foreign fighters, or it can do better, are releasing fighters that we have deported” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with Kanal 24 news channel late on Aug. 25.
He said many who have been deported by Turkey have appeared on the Turkish border again, with their countries of origin citing “freedom of travel.”
Turkey has deported mode than 1,900 suspected foreign fighters, 1,500 of whom have returned through Turkish airports, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that the authorities have also put a travel ban on more than 18,000 people.
The foreign minister also stressed that Ankara does not consider the decision of Germany and the United States to withdraw the Patriot missile defense system as a “political move.” “We don’t consider it to be an act against Turkey” he added.
Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu called on Germany to fulfill its legal commitment concerning controversial former prosecutors Zekeriya Öz and Celal Kara who have fled to the country, stressing that the issue is “serious.”
The Turkish foreign minister also slammed the “sectarian” role of Iran in the region.
“Iran might be uneasy about our policies in the region, because we always say we are against Iran’s sectarian policies. We say it to their faces too” he said, calling on Tehran to be more “constructive.”