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Turkey says Germany, Netherlands agree to take back ISIL militants

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Wednesday that Germany and the Netherlands had agreed to take back German and Dutch Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) detainees and their families from Turkey, after Ankara started to repatriate the fighters this week, according to Reuters.

On Monday Turkey said it had deported two of the detainees, a German and an American, and added that it would deport another 23 European nationals in the coming days.

Turkey holds hundreds of ISIL suspects in its jails and says it has captured another 287 during its military offensive in northeast Syria against Kurdish fighters – an incursion that has further strained ties with its NATO allies.

“We have our own policy and we are implementing it without compromise. Those who want to step out of our way will, but those who don’t will face the consequences,” Soylu said in the southeastern province of Van on Wednesday.

“I would like to especially thank two countries here. One is Germany and the other the Netherlands,” he added. “As of last night, they have confirmed that they will take back terrorists from [ISIL] who are citizens of their countries and their wives, children and all the others,” he said.

Turkey has said it will deport the detainees to Ireland, Germany, France and Denmark.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Tuesday that France would take back 11 suspected ISIL members from Turkey. Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney also said that two Irish nationals set to be deported from Turkey had the right to return to Ireland.

On Monday Greek police said Turkish police came to the border post at the Greek town of Kasanies and requested that one of the detainees, a US citizen of Arab descent, be admitted to Greece as he had been arrested for exceeding his stay in Turkey.

Greek police said that a check carried out in a database of Greek and cooperating countries did not find anything against him, and that the man has been refused entry to Greece and sent back to Turkey. Turkish state media said on Wednesday he was in the buffer zone between Turkey and Greece.

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