Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that Turkey cannot be held responsible for the movements of a suspected accomplice to last week’s attacks in Paris, who is believed to have travelled through Turkey to Syria before the killings, Turkish Today’s Zaman newspaper reported on Monday.
During a visit to Germany after his participation in Paris march, Davutoğlu told a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin that his country was not to be blamed for allowing a suspected terrorist into its territory and across the Syrian border.
He rejected any suggestion that Turkey is doing little to fight terrorism after it became evident that Hayat Boumeddiene, a suspected female accomplice implicated in last week’s shootings in Paris, crossed into Syria on 8 January from Turkey.
Davutoğlu stressed that Turkish authorities first require intelligence in order to bar suspected travellers, he said, adding that Turkey had received no intelligence about the suspect from any country. He also pointed out that Boumeddiene travelled to Turkey from Madrid.
“Now, is it possible to blame Spain for this issue? Is it possible to blame Turkey? Is Turkey’s only crime that it borders Syria?” he inquired.
Turkey has deported between 1,500 and 2,000 foreign nationals, whose names have appeared on a blacklist of 7,000 people provided by international intelligence agencies, he said.
On Monday, Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, said it is all the more necessary that Turkey takes further measures to prevent extremists crossing into Syria to join ISIS and other terrorist organisations.