Turkey keeps revolving door policy intact by failing to crack down on known ISIS network

Turkey keeps on sleeping with the enemy

The criminal justice system in Turkey, under strict control of the Islamist government, has systematically failed to stem activities of militants who have been providing logistics for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist network in Turkey’s borderland areas with Syria.

Feyzullah Yeşildeniz, 23-year-old ISIS terrorist, provided safe houses for foreign jihadists who moved out of Syria, where they faced increased pressure from both the US-led anti-ISIS coalition as well as Russian aerial assaults. Although his activities were well known to authorities and the evidence in the criminal case including witness statements verified his links to ISIS, he was released by the court in April 2019. He was among three people who were under arrest pending trial, and the panel of judges ruled to let him and his associates — Süleyman Seginç and Yusuf Kırtay — go free.

As soon as he was freed, Yeşildeniz picked up from where he left off before his arrest and continued to provide services for ISIS members. He secured a safe house for 30-year-old jihadist Soumaya Raissi, a French national of Tunisian origin, who crossed into Turkey in the summer 2020 from Syria. The safe house, located on the first floor of an apartment building in Adana’s Namık Kemal neighborhood, was maintained by ISIS militants who provided food and supplies to Raissi, who never left the apartment for fear of attracting attention. She stayed in the apartment all the time with her small child.

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Raissi was facing an outstanding arrest warrant issued by French authorities and disseminated through Interpol when she was detained on October 14, 2020 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Adana. Her first husband, Rached Raissi, was detained in Turkey’s Gaziantep province in 2016 and was later deported. Soumaya established a life for herself in ISIS territory and remarried an ISIS terrorist in Syria. Her brother-in-law is also an ISIS militant.

Read more: Nordic Monitor