Last we left Turkey, they had launched an operation into Syria to drive back Kurdish forces. The Kurds, an ethnic group of people who reside within Middle Eastern countries, makeup one of the largest stateless nations in the world. In Northern Syria, they have served as U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). Turkey now owns a border zone that was previously held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are rebelling against the current Syrian government. Through their invasion, Turkey now has a tenuous alliance with the Syrian government. Turkey’s operation benefitted Syrian President Bashaar al-Assad the most, allowing him to take back more territory from the SDF in weeks than he had in years. During this operation, Turkey not only gained control of land, but they captured many foreign ISIS terrorists that were in the custody of the Kurds. These foreign terrorists were mostly Westerners and Europeans who relocated to Syria to be closer to a government that would shelter them. Now, Turkey is threatening to send these foreign terrorists back to their country of origin, with an American already expelled and more than 20 Europeans in the process of deportation.
Ankara, Turkey’s capital, has become increasingly frustrated with Western nations for not taking back any of the 1,200 foreign nationals who are being held in Turkish prisons for supposed links to terror organizations. The U.S. and other European nations have attempted to disown these terrorists by stripping them of their citizenship, making them legally stateless, but Turkey is willing to repatriate them anyways. “There is no need to try to escape from it, we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want,” Turkish minister Suleyman Soylu said, stating that “Turkey is not a hotel for foreign terrorists” The exact logistics of how Turkey is planning to repatriate these terrorists is unclear, especially since their countries are technically no longer responsible for them. But, tensions will undoubtedly continue to mount as Ankara becomes increasingly frustrated with the number of terrorists that foreign countries refuse to take back from Turkey.