Turkey detains Russian student in Syrian border town after fears she might join Isis

Varvara Karaulova is a student at Moscow State University

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The Independent Online

Turkish authorities have detained a Russian university student near the border with Syria, the country's Interior Ministry has said.

In a statement reported by the Associated Press news agency a spokesperson for the department said 19-year-old Varvara Karaulova had been detained in the town of Kilis while trying to cross the border to Syria.

Officials say Ms Karaulova is being held by Turkish immigration authorities.

The statement did not clarify when the student had been detained or in which direction she was travelling.

Ms Karaulova’s disapperance has prompted concerns in her home country that she wanted to travel to Syria to join Isis.

Syrian authorities say she will be deported to Russia. Officials are investigating whether she should be charged with terrorism offences in her home country.

Ms Karaulova is a student at the prestigious Moscow State University and went missing in May.


Her location was partly identified after authorities traced her mobile phone to Turkey.

Reports in local media said Karaulova had adopted Islam and sometimes wore a hijab. Her father was quoted as saying he feared she had become radicalized.

Turkey is one of the main routes for European fighters trying to join militant groups in Syria and Iraq because of its accessibility and its long border with Syria and Iraq.

In April this year nine British people, including four children, were arrested by Turkish authorities as they tried to illegally cross into Syria.

There are estimated to be hundreds of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Additional reporting by AP