Turkish police detained 20 suspected members of the Islamic State militant group in the southern city of Adana early on Thursday, the private Dogan news agency reported. The news agency further reported that anti-terror police, supported by a helicopter, staged simultaneous raids on 22 addresses in the city after a tip-off that Islamic State cells were planning attacks.
The suspects, who included senior local figures in the group, were taken to Adana police headquarters for questioning, it said. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Islamic State militants from the former Soviet Union were behind an attack on Istanbul’s main airport in June which killed 45 people. Dozens have been detained over the attack. According to sources in the government, the attackers had arrived at the airport in a taxi and blew themselves up after opening fire.
Islamic State controls an area of Syria along the Turkish border, east of Adana. The city of Adana is near the Incirlik Air Base, where US personnel are stationed and which is used for air missions in the fight against Islamic State. The terror group associated itself with recent attacks in places Nice, Munich and Turkey. Officials, however, said no such evidence came up during their investigation of the incidents.