The Head of Mission, Syrian embassy in Nigeria, Dr. Shafik Daiyob on Friday, September 11, 2015 revealed that supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group in the country obtained visas to go to Turkey in order to join up with the group in Syria.
Speaking in an interview in Abuja with Punch, Daiyob, speaking through an interpreter said after obtaining visas to Turkey, the ISIS sympathizers proceed to gain entry into Syria, albeit illegally.
In February 2015, Ibrahim Uwais, the son of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais obtained Turkish visa before crossing the Syrian border in order to join ISIS, in company of his family.
Nothing has been heard about the incident ever since.
The Turkish embassy has also said it would not respond to the allegation until it is published.
Speaking to a correspondent via telephone, the Secretary/ Personal Assistant to the Turkish ambassador, Wunmi Ayantade said: “I have conveyed your request for reaction to the ambassador, but he said he would not react until he sees the published report (of the Syrian accusations) in the papers.”
Daiyob on his part explained that a significant part of the 920 kilometer border between Syria and Turkey is under the control of ISIS, adding that the large entry of terrorists into Syria was aided by the Turkish government.
Daiyob said: , “I am not accusing Turkey, but the Turkish officials have announced that and their utterances are quite clear on this and most countries in the world know this fact. Even United States has mounted pressure on Turkey to stop facilitation of terrorist organisations into Syria, it is not a secret, it’s well known all over the world.”
“Most of these ISIS sympathisers were from Nigeria, they were given the Turkish visas here in Nigeria, they are given visas to Turkey not Syria. Those who applied to our embassy are not ISIS sympathisers and they don’t share that ideology. Even those Nigerian supporters of ISIS that were published in the papers reached Syria through Turkey.
“For Nigerians, they are required to state why they are going to Syria, their sponsor, introduction letter from the government or private company the applicant is working with, information about where the person would stay in Syria and so on. The information would be sent to Damascus for approval before the visa is issued. This process doesn’t take more than two weeks.
“Turkish/Syrian border is about 920 km and a large part of the border is under the control of terrorists supported by the Turkish government with support and facilitation from the Turkish government. That was how Turkey became a crossing point for majority of terrorists who come from all over the world.”