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Turkish Police Detain 46 Al Qaeda Suspects: Agency | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish police have detained 46 people on suspicion of links to al Qaeda, the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Monday.

It said 25 people had been held in the central Turkish province of Konya. A further 21 people had been taken into custody in raids in the western provinces of Istanbul, Izmir and Kocaeli, and in the southeastern province of Mardin.

No further details were immediately available.

Police in secular Turkey, which has a mainly Muslim population, have carried out a series of operations against suspected Islamic guerrillas since November 2003 suicide bombings by al Qaeda militants.

Those attacks in Istanbul targeted two synagogues, the British consulate and the local headquarters of HSBC Bank, killing more than 60 people.

Last Friday, a Turkish court jailed seven Islamist militants for being part of an armed gang that plotted to kill President Bush during a 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul.

The seven men were members of Ansar al-Islam, a radical group believed to have links to al Qaeda.

Last December, police detained a lawyer who said he was the leader of al Qaeda in Turkey and seized bomb-making material.