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Turkey arrests 14 people accused of financing Daesh

Ankara seeks to reclaim its key position in the fight against terrorism
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AFP/ADEM ALTAN  -   Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish authorities have arrested 14 people for alleged links to Daesh. They are accused of supporting and financing terrorist activities of the jihadist organisation, they said.

According to statements, the authorities reportedly arrested them in the southern state of Mersin "after monitoring calls to raise funds for the organisation through social media". Subsequently, the authorities traced the movement of the bank accounts that were under suspicion. 

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AFP/BAKR ALKASEM - Turkish-backed fighters in Syria

According to the same source, the authorities carried out an investigation into a total of 14 people who were allegedly responsible for raising the funds, prompting a campaign of raids in Mersin with the aim of arresting them.

A total of 200 police officers were involved in the raids, reportedly backed up by drones to monitor a possible escape attempt by the suspects.

In recent months, Ankara has asserted its role in NATO as a key country in the fight against terrorism. Last May, Daesh leader Abu al Hasan al Qurashi was arrested in Istanbul.  This operation proved to be a major blow to Daesh as it left the organisation without its new leader, only months after the US eliminated his predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al Hashemi al Qurash, in an operation in Syria.

Although Turkey has been accused of "tolerating" Daesh, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly claimed that his country "has done more than anyone else to fight terrorism"

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AFP/BAKR ALKASEM  -  Turkish-backed Syrian fighters on the road between Tal Abyad and Kobane

In 2013 Turkey designated Daesh as a terrorist group and suffered several terrorist attacks in different scenarios. However, a US Treasury report published in 2021 found that the jihadist group continued to have "several logistical hubs" in Turkey to finance itself.

For the time being, Daesh is present in several areas of Syria and Iraq, although they no longer control any territory as they did during 2014 until 2018 when Kurdish-Arab forces managed to defeat them. Even so, there are concerns about their 'resurgence' and the 'awakening' of sleeper cells both in these countries and in Afghanistan and now in the Sahel. This situation has prompted NATO leaders to approve an anti-terrorism cooperation plan because of the threat their regrouping in the south poses to international security.