Turkey threatens to send British Islamic State members back to UK

Turkey threatens to send British Islamic State members back to UKTurkey has warned that it will send British Islamic State members back to the UK if they come into the custody of Turkish forces in Syria.  Suleyman Soylu, the Turkish interior minister, told Britain and other European governments that Turkey was “not a hotel” for foreign jihadists and vowed to send them home.     “When there is a Daesh member, they cancel his or her citizenship, making the person stateless. Then, they take no responsibility,” Mr Soylu said. "That is not acceptable to us. It's also irresponsible.” Tooba Gondal, 25, is the only British Isil member so far known to have ended up in Turkish custody. She and her children escaped from a Kurdish-run facility in northern Syria last month and ended up in the hands of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.  Ms Gondal was known as “the Isil matchmaker” because she used her social media accounts to try to convince other young British women to follow in her footsteps and become wives to jihadists. Britain has for years resisted pressure from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to take back Isil members from the UK.  Tooba Gondal photographed after fleeing the Ain Issa camp in Syria. But it may be more difficult to stave off pressure from Turkey, which in theory could put Ms Gondal on a plane to London or try to hand her over to the British embassy in Ankara.     There are believed to be eight British men in Kurdish prisons in northeast Syria, while another 25 women and around 60 children are in Kurdish-run camps. Some of them may end up in Turkey’s custody as the Turkish military continues to attack Kurdish targets.  Ms Gondal was born in France but moved to London as a child and had British residency. However, the UK government is reluctant to bring her back to the UK. Ms Gondal, who married and was widowed three times while living in Isil’s “caliphate”, was banned from re-entering the UK last November by a Home Office exclusion order, but her son Ibrahim, three, is entitled to citizenship because of his British father.  However, her 18-month-old daughter Asiya’s late father was Russian. Ms Gondal is today thought to be in one of the new camps for Isil wives set up by Turkey in an area of northern Syria it seized during an offensive in 2017.

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