Eight British nationals who have been detained in Turkey on suspicion of trying to illegally enter Syria were on their way back to the UK on Tuesday morning (April 14).
The eight deportees, all part of the same family, were taken into custody along with a ninth member of the group, the son of a Labour Party councillor, near the Syrian border.
Waheed Ahmed, the 21-year-old son of Shakil Ahmed, Labour Party councillor for Rochdale, near Manchester, has already been deported.
Turkish authorities are on alert for foreign nationals moving through Turkey to join ISIL militants in Syria.
It comes after British police criticised Turkish officials after three UK schoolgirls arrived in Istanbul and were then allegedly smuggled into Syria.
An estimated 600 British nationals have travelled to the region to fight, with 330 already back in the UK, according to London’s Metropolitan Police.
Dutch journalist cleared by Turkish court
Meanwhile a Dutch journalust has been cleared by a Turkish court of disseminating “terrorist propaganda.”
Frederike Geerdink, a freelance journalist bassed in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, was accused of posting social media messages in favour of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Geerdink’s brief detention in January sparked an outcry from rights groups and a protest by the Dutch foreign minister, while deepening fears about the erosion of press freedom under President Tayyip Erdogan.