Turkish authorities said Thursday they have thwarted 152 attacks that ISIS members planned to stage across the country this year, while an opposition deputy announced that the majority of terror suspects have been wrongly accused.
"Since the beginning of the year, our security service has stopped 152 terrorist attacks that ISIS militants planned to carry out. A total of 26.8 tons of explosive materials have been seized," Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
The Minister told the TGRT Haber television channel that Turkish security forces work around the clock to guarantee the country’s security.
Turkey has been fighting ISIS cells for the past three years. The terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for killing more than 300 people in suicide bombings and other attacks between 2015 and 2017.
This week, cult leader Ahmet Mahmut Unlu claimed that there are 2,000 extremist associations around the country that are preparing for a civil war, especially in the southeastern provinces of Batman and Adiyaman.
In a related development, Mustafa Yeneroglu, a deputy for the newly created centrist DEVA Party, said Thursday that 95 percent of Turkish citizens, accused of belonging to terrorist organizations, are innocent.
Yeneroglu said that in the past three years, Turkish authorities have questioned or arrested 1.3 million people over accusations of belonging to terrorist organizations.
Meanwhile, a Turkish court has sentenced to three years in prison an Australian ISIS member who left Melbourne to fight for the terrorist organization after fleeing a Syrian refugee camp with her two young children.
Zehra Duman, 26, was sentenced this week for recruiting brides to join ISIS and for spreading the group's propaganda on social media.
The Australian national had been held in a Sanliurfa jail on the Turkish border since July 17 after fleeing the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria.