24 Jul 2015

Islamic State militant pictured in Turkish holiday resorts

An Isis fighter who has been shown inside Syria alongside dead bodies and the flag of the self-styled Islamic State has been pictured at Turkish resorts in the last week.

Pictures posted to social media show Turkish Isis supporter Sari Dayi posing at a beach in the resorts of Amasra Sahil and Bertin on the Black Sea.

The young Jihadi has posted dozens of images of himself in IS stronghold Raqqa posing with guns, jihadi fighters, Islamic State flags, and even posted images of severed heads.

He has also posted images praising ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, with the words; “Either you’re going to be with us or you will die, infidel dogs.”

The images have provoked anger online with Turkish Kurds questioning how authorities have not yet arrested the young militant.

In footage seen by Channel 4 News relatives of the young jihadi pose with automatic weapons and one man is seen saying; “I’m going to go to Kobani. God willing we are going to take over Kobani with these.

“With God’s will, we’ll become martyrs if need be…The whole lot of us will go, the whole community will go, men, women and children”.

After the events in Tunisia people need to be aware of the global nature of the Isis threat
Macer Gifford

The chilling speech is delivered while two men play with handguns. Kobani is the Syrian-Kurdish town on the border with Turkey that saw a prolonged siege from Isis over the last year.

The images have provoked anger online, with Turkish Kurds questioning how authorities have not yet arrested the young militant.

Fears have been raised that an Islamic State supporter could move so freely around Turkey just days after the deadly attack in Suruc that killed dozens of young socialist activists.

Macer Gifford, until recently a British volunteer with the Kurdish YPG forces fighting Isis, told Channel 4 News: “This is every family’s worst nightmare.”

“These images will at best be humiliating for the Turkish authorities.”

“David Cameron should take a tougher stance with Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄ?an. Turkey cant look the other way when it comes to Isis.”

“My message to British tourists is to stay away from Turkey at all costs. Its not worth risking your families life.”

The images have appeared just one month after an Isis-inspired attack on tourists in Sousse, Tunisia, killed 30 British tourists at a beach resport.

At present the Foreign Office travel advice for Turkey warns: “There is a high threat from terrorism in Turkey and there are active terrorist groups throughout the country.

“These include domestic religious extremist and ideological groups, and international groups involved in the conflict in Syria. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect places visited by foreigners.”

The revelation comes as Turkey begins strikes on Islamic State bases in northern Syria as a “first step” and says actions against Islamist, Kurdish and leftist militants will continue.

President Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul that militant groups must lay down their weapons or “face consequences”.

A major counter-terror operation was launched across the country – targeting not just Isis but also Kurdish and leftist organisations involved in paramilitary activity.

Operations have taken place in 13 cities, with 251 suspects currently in detention.

The police raid in Sanliurfa, a south eastern province of Turkey, saw 35 people linked with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group held.

High tension

The province has witnessed a major escalation in tensions following a suicide bombing on Monday, plus the fatal shooting of two police officers two days later.

The Sanliurfa operations saw raids in Suruc, the location of Monday’s Isis-linked bombing in which 32 people died plus Ceylanpinar, where the two officers were found shot dead at their shared home on Wednesday.

In Istanbul, thousands of anti-terrorism officers launched simultaneous raids on different illegal organisations across 26 districts of the city early on Friday morning.

In the Bagcilar area, police were preparing to raid an address when they were fired upon from inside the building.

A woman was killed after a short exchange of fire, and her gun was seized.

Almost 10,000 police, including 2,000 riot-squad officers, raided addresses in districts including Kucukcekmece, Basaksehir, Eyup, Sultangazi, Gaziosmanpasa, Sariyer, Kagithane and Beyoglu. Another 13 were detained in Kocaeli, a city close to Istanbul.

During the raids, which were supported by special operation teams and police helicopters, 140 locations were targeted.