France, Turkey working ‘closely’ on returning militants

PARIS

France is working closely with Turkey on the issue of foreign fighters returning from war zones, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Tuesday.

"We are working quite closely with Turkey, which is effectively reporting to us the return of French extremists," Collomb told broadcaster BFMTV.

Asked about how the French authorities are planning to handle the possible return of citizens who are still in Iraq and Syria, including several women and children, Collomb said to date "217 [adults] and 54 minors" are already back on French soil.

The minister said that, once in France, a judicial process is initiated for "all those who took part in these wars".

"They are taken to court, and most of the time imprisoned," he added.

Former Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, in 2014 estimated around 900 French citizens had gone to fight in Syria alone.

France has been under a state of emergency following terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 which killed 130 people. Several of the plotters were reported to have spent time in Syria.

The current French president, Emmanuel Macron, has promised to lift the emergency legislation by November this year.

Source: Anadolu Agency