13 Britons amongst 457 'foreign terror' suspects held by Turkish authorities at Syrian border

Almost half of those detained were Chinese

Michael Segalov
Thursday 23 July 2015 13:50 BST
A Turkish solider on the border with Syria
A Turkish solider on the border with Syria

Turkish authorities claim they have detained 457 foreign nationals - including 13 Britons - who they have labelled ‘terror’ suspects, allegedly making their way to Syria on the Turkish border.

The reports from the Anadolu news agency show almost half of the 457 people detained by Turkish forces on the border with Syria were Chinese nationals, totalling 241, the highest by far of any nationality.

The statistics also show 13 British, two Spanish and two Italians were detained along the 900km long border Turkey shares with Syria. There were also five Belgians, 56 Russians, two Bulgarians and a Slovakian. 12 French nationals have been detained, as has a Danish citizen and five Dutch people too.

From outside of Europe, there were also Afghan nationals, as well as Egyptians, Tunisians, Uzbeks and Moroccans. The detentions listed began in January this year, and run through to the end of June.

The detained suspects are reported to come from at least 32 countries around the world, including as far away as Trinidad and Tobago.

It's unclear which forces the Turkish authorities suspect these foreign nationals of attempting to join, in a conflict that has costed the lives of over 200,000 Syrian people, although it is believed that some were heading to join Isis.

The Independent has approached the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a comment on the number of British nationals.

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