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'Not our problem': Suspected jihadist trapped in no-man's land at border after being expelled from Turkey

President Erdogan said that the man was not Turkey’s problem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Europe and the US for not taking back Islamic State fighters.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Europe and the US for not taking back Islamic State fighters.
Image: AP/PA Images

PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP Erdogan has said that a suspected American jihadist trapped in the no-man’s land between the Turkish and Greek borders was “not our problem”. 

“We don’t care whether or not he was trapped at the border,” Erdogan said in televised remarks. “Whether or not they let him in is not our problem.”

He was responding to a question about a suspected US jihadist, who Turkey said was deported yesterday.

A Turkish official told AFP the man had refused to be returned to the US and had asked to go to Greece. 

The official said he spent the night in the no-man’s land between the two borders, next to the Turkish province of Edirne.

It was not clear why Turkey thought Greece would accept a US citizen. 

A US State Department official said they were “aware of reports of the detainment of a US citizen by Turkish authorities” but could not comment further because of privacy rules.

Turkey has criticised the US and European countries for not taking back captured members of the Islamic State group. 

It has sought to publicise the deportations following criticism of Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Syria last month, which several NATO allies including France and Germany said would undermine the fight against IS. 

- © AFP 2019

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