Turkey deports 430 Indonesians who attempted to enter Syria from 2015 to 2017

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a total of 430 Indonesians have been deported from Turkey for attempting to cross into Syria from 2015 to 2017.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a total of 430 Indonesians have been deported from Turkey for attempting to cross into Syria from 2015 to 2017. PHOTO: EPA

ANKARA - Turkey has deported 430 Indonesians for attempting to cross into Syria in the past two years, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday (July 5).

"From 2015 to 2017, a total of 430 Indonesians have been deported from Turkey for attempting to cross into Syria," she said.

She made the statement after a bilateral meeting with the Turkish minister of home affairs, reported the Tempo news website. The meeting came ahead of President Joko Widodo's state visit to Turkey on Thursday (July 6).

Immigration cooperation between the two countries to fight terrorism will be a top item on the agenda, Indonesian media reported.

Ms Retno said not all who were deported from Syria were linked to radical ideologies or terrorist organisations.

"Therefore, any information from Turkey will be very significant for Indonesia, with regard to further study about them after they arrive in Indonesia, and we have kept increasing the cooperation from time to time," she added.

In Jakarta, Mr Ronny F. Sompie, the immigration director-general at the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said his office has received a most-wanted list from the police.

It had the names of 243 people with suspected links with terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) movement.

Of these, 91 are said to be affiliated with ISIS and 83 of them are Indonesians, reported Jakarta Post.

"The ISIS-affiliated suspects are specifically those who are in the Middle East and are considered foreign terrorist fighters," Mr Ronny said on Wednesday.

He added that his agency prevented about 300 suspected foreign militants - 127 from Afghanistan and 40 from the Philippines being the two biggest groups - from entering Indonesia between January and June this year.

It rejected passport applications from a number of people who were believed to be planning to join terrorist groups abroad.