By Abidin Mutlu Bozdag, Zafer Arslan, Abdullah Ozkul and Emre Ayvaz
More than 100 Daesh suspects were arrested during counterterrorism operations across Turkey Friday, according to police.
Istanbul police arrested at least 82 foreign nationals during a counterterrorism operation midnight Friday on suspicion of being linked to the Daesh terrorist organization.
The simultaneous raids were carried out the in the city’s Bagcilar, Beykoz, Fatih, Kucukcekmece, Pendik, Sancaktepe, and Sisli districts.
The suspects were allegedly planning to cross into Syria to fight for Daesh. They will be sent to court, according to Istanbul Police Department.
In a separate operation early Friday, police arrested 11 Syrians for suspected ties with Daesh in southern Adana.
Police also seized a shotgun and 48 packs of smuggled cigarettes from them during the raid at several addresses in Adana’s city
Nine Daesh suspects were also arrested in northeastern Trabzon province while seven others were held in western Izmir province.
Police also arrested three Iraqi-origin Daesh suspects in northern Black Sea province of Samsun; one more foreign national was held in western Eskisehir province, according to a police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
In addition, Sakarya 2nd Criminal Court accepted the indictment against high-ranking Daesh figure Halis Bayancuk,
If convicted Bayancuk would face aggravated life sentences for “violating the constitution” and could be sentenced up to 22 years for the charge of “forming and leading an armed terror organization”.
More than 300 people lost their lives in Daesh-claimed brutal attacks in Turkey that includes suicide bombs, rocket and gun attacks.
Turkish security forces have been involved in a long-running campaign to thwart Daesh attacks.
Since August last year, Istanbul police have carried out at least 100 operations and detained nearly 1,000 suspects.