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Turkey bans entry to thousands of Syria-bound militants

Published on Jun 24, 2014 11:24 PM

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkey on Tuesday said it has banned entry to more than five thousand foreign jihadists suspected of seeking to head to Syria to join radical Islamist groups fighting the Syrian regime.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his Islamic-rooted government was taking "all the measures" to stem the flow of jihadists from abroad, who were "using Turkey as a transit point" to enter war-torn Syria.

"We have banned entry to more than 5,300 people from abroad who were planning to join the radical groups in Syria. We are detaining suspected terrorists and deporting them. We have deported more than 824 people since 2012," Mr Erdogan said during a televised address to EU ambassadors in Ankara.

His comments came amid mounting concerns in Europe about the growing national security threat posed by jihadists returning home from Syria.

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