Turkish Interior Minister revealed on Friday that the country’s security forces are on high alert due to the increasing mobility of the outlawed Islamic State (ISIS) in the country over the past week.
“ISIS is more active across Turkey now than it has been over the last two-and-a-half to three years, therefore, all our security forces are on high alert,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters in a televised sit-in interview on TGRT News channel.
According to the minister, critical operations have already been carried out by Turkish security forces and intelligence units to prevent the execution of the security threats. He did not provide further details regarding the operations.
Soylu expressed his gratitude to security officials for their efforts, stressing that they had already prevented dozens of such security threats from materializing in Turkey without anybody even noticing. He further criticized those who, he claimed, failed to thank the officials.
ISIS, or Daesh (Arabic acronym), declared a self-proclaimed “caliphate” in 2014 and took control of large parts of Syria and Iraq. The caliphate has since collapsed.
ISIS also conducted a series of terror attacks in Turkey from 2015 to 2016, until the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The last horrific attack in the country, which occurred in an exclusive Istanbul night club in 2017, led to a desperate manhunt.
The assailant, Abdulkadir Masharipov, an ISIS militant with Uzbek nationality, launched the assault on the Reina Club, firing randomly at people as they were celebrating the new year. ISIS declared its involvement in the incident, which left 39 people of various nationalities dead.
Ironically, Zarina Nurullayeva, Masharipov’s wife, was released pending trial by the Istanbul 27th Criminal Court on Thursday. She is, however, obligated to report to a police station regularly and is banned from leaving the country.