The Turkish authorities arrested at least 75 people in Istanbul and Ankara suspected of being linked to radical groups Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Arrests are made ahead of New Year's celebrations that will be secured by the authorities.
The Turkish public will meet in 2018 under the shadow of an armed attack at the Reina elite nightclub in Istanbul that occurred exactly a year earlier. The attack that took place at the turn of the year killed 39 people who were mostly foreign nationals.
Reported by the Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency as reported by AFP police arrested 46 people in raid operations in 10 different areas of the city Istanbul. Of that number, 43 of them are foreign nationals.
The local police did not elaborate further on the origin of the suspects' arrested citizenship with the ISIS. It was only mentioned that they were allegedly planning an attack during New Year's celebrations.
In a raid operation in Ankara, the police arrested 46 suspects, but only 29 were eventually officially detained. The operation in Ankara reportedly involved 500 police personnel.
It was also mentioned that most of the suspects held in Ankara are foreign nationals, but are not mentioned in number. Some of them suspected of being investigated and planning attacks during the New Year.
One of the suspects reportedly attempted to escape by jumping from the balcony, when he was about to be arrested.
Turkish police increased raid operation against suspected ISIS militants ahead of New Year celebrations , which is prone to terror attacks. It was reported Anadolu Agency that before this arrest line was carried out, there had been a total of 120 ISIS suspects held in a series of raids in various parts of Turkey.
In a separate statement, Istanbul Governor Vasip Shain said there will be 37,000 police and 4,000 members of the gendarmerie (armed forces) as well as beach patrols deployed at the turn of the year on 31 December to 1 January.
Turkish authorities have imposed a ban on holding New Year's celebrations in Istanbul's Taksim Square. A similar move applies to the Besiktas district and the Sisli district, where many of Istanbul's top shopping centers are located.
(nvc / rna)