Turkish security forces detained at least 90 terrorism suspects on Monday in nationwide raids ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations, according to state owned news agency Anadolu.
The raids were initiated in the capital Ankara to capture 50 foreign nationals over alleged ties to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the agency said.
Among the total of detainees, the agency said there were 30 Iraqis, two Syrians, and one Moroccan who were held in Ankara. Also, nine Iraqi citizens who had allegedly operated in Syria and Iraq were detained in Kayseri, while four Syrian and two Iraqi citizens were detained in Adana.
In separate raids, Reuters reported that Istanbul police said 20 Turks and four foreign nationals were captured with the aim of preventing potential attacks by the group ahead of New Year’s.
In the recent years, Turkish cities have witnessed militant attacks that targeted civilians. In 2017 on New Year’s celebrations, a gunman killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub in an attack claimed by the IS group.
Also, on December 10, 2016, two bombs exploded outside of a soccer stadium in Istanbul, killing 44 people and wounding 155 others
Such attacks are not new to Turkey, as the nation has been fighting terrorism since 1984 against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which it designates as a terrorist group, and Al Qaeda since 2003.