By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – Turkish Ambassador to the U.K. Umit Yalcin on Tuesday urged countries to take back their nationals, who were involved in terrorist activities in Syria.
Speaking to SkyNews, he said it would be an ideal situation, if countries of their origin take back these captured terrorists and bring them to justice or rehabilitate them.
He argued that those individuals (terrorists) carried “their nationalities and passports” when they had left their countries.
The envoy said that Turkey can deport those held in Turkey to their own countries.
He called for exploring new mechanism of cooperation between the countries, to deal with foreign terrorists, detained in Syria.
Yalcin’s interview with British news channel was aired in the wake of a possible Turkish operation into northern Syria, to secure safe zone for the return of Syrian refugees.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Sunday that Turkey is ready to launch "Operation Peace Spring" east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, to clear the region from terrorists.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Twitter message that “Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their neighborhood."
Turkey has long called for the U.S. to partner with it in the fight against Daesh, a terror group Ankara has worked to root out, arresting and deporting its members within Turkey.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled from the violence, to return to their home to western Syria.
In a report published in 2017, a London-based think tank Henry Jackson Society has documented 60 foreign fighters from 12 countries. Over 80% of them belonged to English-speaking nations.
The report also recommended that the YPG -- the PYD’s armed wing -- should be added to U.K.'s list of alternate names of the banned PKK, so the anti-terror law could be applied to their activities under this name.
Although the U.K. has listed the PKK as a terrorist organization since 2001, the PYD/PKK -- its Syrian off-shoot -- is not in the list.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.