Turkey‘s intelligence agency has been involved in escorting over 60 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremist militants over the Turkish border into Syria, according to a report by the Nokta weekly.
The report, published on Aug. 3, claims that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) escorted over 60 militants to Syria who wanted to join ISIL. It states that the applicants had previously been incarcerated after being apprehended by the Turkish police for suspected involvement in criminal activities pertaining to terrorism. It is alleged that MİT then collected the applicants from prison and brought them to ISIL handlers in Syria via the Akçakale border gate.
Nokta claims that after their apprehension by Turkish law enforcement agencies between April and September 2014, the prisoners should have been deported but were not. The weekly claims that the prisoners were delivered to MİT agents with the knowledge and authorization of Şanlıurfa Police Chief Eyüp Pınarbaşı.
The report also claims that on the day and hour of the delivery of the future ISIL fighters to their handlers, the CCTV cameras were turned off and border personnel were ushered away from the meeting spot.
Nokta’s report provides all 60 of the ISIL militants’ names, nationalities and ages, with some fighters even as young as 12 years old. Two members of the group were female, while many members of the 60-strong group were determined to be of Russian or Turkic ethnicity. The group also included American, Swedish, German, French, Turkmen, Chechen, Ingush and East Turkistan fighters.
Erkan Iseni, Fadılj Iseni, Bujamin Fetov and Suat Mustafa from Macedonia, Hesabullah Haqani from Pakistan, Mohomed Unais from Australia, Johan Castillo Boens from the United States and Fadhle Al-Sallami from Sweden were all on the list of fighters who joined ISIL.
Daniel Rye Ottosen from Denmark, Toni Neukirch from Germany, and Mahmud Boudouaia and Illiess El Alami from France were also among those who joined ISIL, according to Nokta.
In June it was previously claimed that MİT was assisting ISIL by allowing militants and weapons safe passage through Turkey into Syria, according to footage obtained by the Cumhuriyet daily.
The daily featured video footage of bus drivers admitting that they transferred “heavily bearded people who looked scruffy” to the border, in reference to ISIL militants, on the orders of MİT.
One of the two drivers explains in the video footage that the coaches had been accompanied by MİT agents during the trip and that the passengers had told them not to stop the coaches unless it was for something urgent.
According to the report the militants and cargo were collected from the Atme camp in Syria, bearing the black flag of ISIL, near the Reyhanlı district in Turkey’s southern Hatay province.
The militants were then transported via Turkey’s southeastern border and dropped off at the border town of Akçakale in Şanlıurfa province, where the militants and cargo re-entered Syria after passing through Turkish territory.
According to Cumhuriyet, ISIL militants were unable to travel safely through Syrian territory near Kobani — a predominantly Kurdish town near Syria’s border with Turkey — as the city and surrounding area is held and defended by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Back then Ankara dismissed claims that Turkey’s intelligence service transferred arms and fighters to ISIL calling the allegations “part of the smear campaign” against Turkey and “slander.”