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ISIS fighters return home to West as Turkey deports 20 jihadis to Europe

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Captured ISIS fighters who have been held in Turkey are being sent home starting with 20 Europeans and an American.

An alleged terrorist fighter from the United States along with two more from Germany and Denmark are all being deported on Monday.

Along with the 20 Europeans being expelled from Turkey, a further seven are due to be deported on Thursday.

The country’s government has been angry that Western countries have not taken back ISIS fighters voluntarily.

20 Europeans and an American are in first group to be deported from Turkey (Image: REUTERS)

There are 11 French citizens and two Irish in the first batch of Europeans to be sent home said Turkey’s interior ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli.

The Turkish government has said it will deport the ISIS fighters even if they have had citizenship removed – although it is unclear how that will work in practice.

Interior minister Suleyman Soylu has reportedly said that Turkey has almost 1,200 foreign ISIS members in custody and captured 287 in their recent operation in Syria.

Mr Soylu said last Friday: “There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want.”

He added: “Turkey is not a hotel for Daesh members.”

Turkish leader President Erdogan addresses his party members
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The UK has removed the citizenship of more than 100 people for allegedly joining jihadi groups abroad.

The 1961 New York Convention made it illegal to leave people without any citizenship but the UK is among countries that never ratified it.

A French foreign ministry source told AFP that jihadist suspects have been returned to France without much publicity since a 2014 agreement with Turkey.

They said: “Jihadists and their families are regularly sent back to France and arrested as they leave the aeroplane. Most of the time it is done secretly.

“The news is not published or released much later.”

Germany’s interior ministry said “it did not wish to oppose the return of German citizens” and that the authorities are verifying their identities and the reasons for their repatriation.

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