Malaysia has protested Turkey’s deportation of several suspected Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants to Malaysia without warning, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, the suspects were caught by Turkish security forces as they were trying to enter Syria to join ISIL and were deported to the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, without prior warning.
“Turkey should have followed international protocol, first by deporting them to their last port of embarkation and secondly by informing the country where deportees are sent to,” a security official told Reuters.
According to police, the suspects were given an option by Turkish authorities to be deported to Malaysia rather than their last port of call. Many had chosen Malaysia due to its many visa-free agreements with other countries.
While the total number of suspects is not known, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said at least 16 militants were deported from Turkey.
Malaysian police teams arrested more than 400 people in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Extra security measures were taken for the Southeast Asia Games that begin on Aug. 19.
Reuters said the Turkish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur did not respond to an email requesting comments on the situation.