Turkish police on Sunday detained 60 suspected members of the Islamic State jihadist group in the capital Ankara, just over a month after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub claimed by the extremist organisation, state media said. Those held were mainly foreign nationals, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, without saying if they were linked to any suspected plot. The suspects were rounded up in simultaneous raids on the Sincan, Cubuk, Yenimahalle and Mamak districts of the capital, it added.
Thirty-nine people were killed, mainly foreigners, on New Year’s night when a gunman went on the rampage inside a plush Istanbul night club. IS claimed the massacre, its first clear claim for a major attack in Turkey although it had been blamed for several bombings in 2016. Police detained the suspected attacker, Abdulgadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, on January 16 after over two weeks on the run and authorities say he has confessed to the massacre.
The Hurriyet daily reported after the attack that IS also planned a simultaneous New Year’s strike in Ankara but dropped the plot after arrests by the Turkish authorities. Turkey was in 2016 shaken by a string of attacks blamed on IS and Kurdish militants that left hundreds dead.