Turkey: Arrests of 12 suspects for links to Islamic State

turkish police generic Islamic State, ARRESTS, Turkey

Turkish police have arrested 12 people in Ankara as part of an investigation into Islamic State jihadists, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported today, hours after the US embassy in the Turkish capital announced it would remain closed overnight due to security threats.

The 12 are among 20 suspects against whom arrest warrants have been issued by the Ankara prosecutor's office, according to Anadolu.

The same source reported that these were foreign nationals, who sought to recruit new members to the organization.

Turkish authorities often arrest Islamic State suspects, and it is unclear whether these arrests are linked to embassy information. The news agency reported that the police operation "was planned earlier".


On Sunday afternoon, the US Embassy in Ankara announced that it would remain closed to the public on Monday due to a security threat and that only emergency services would be provided.

In addition, the embassy advised American citizens in Turkey to avoid large crowds and the embassy building and to be on the lookout for their safety when visiting tourist attractions and crowded areas. It is not clear what exactly was the threat that led to the decision to close the embassy.

Turkish police stepped up their operations against Islamic State in late 2017 ahead of the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Eve in which 39 people were killed.

The Islamic State, which is believed to have carried out many more attacks in Turkey in recent years, claimed responsibility for the attack.