ANKARA: Turkish authorities have detained 189 persons suspected of having links with the Islamic State (IS) group. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced the arrests on Saturday via a post on X (formerly Twitter), revealing that the nationwide crackdown, codenamed “HEROES-38,” was conducted simultaneously in 37 cities, including the major metropolitan areas of Istanbul and Ankara.
According to Yerlikaya, 27 suspects were apprehended in the capital city of Ankara, while 22 were detained in Istanbul, demonstrating the widespread nature of the operations. The intensified crackdown comes as Turkey faces an ongoing threat from IS militants who have previously claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on Turkish soil.
The operations also follow the recent detention of 32 IS suspects on Friday, including three senior members reportedly planning attacks on churches, synagogues, and the Iraqi embassy. Turkish security forces have been actively targeting persons associated with the extremist group, especially in the wake of the heinous attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on January 1, 2017, which claimed the lives of 39 people.
The Turkish government’s proactive stance against IS aims to prevent potential terrorist threats during the New Year celebrations.