Turkey arrests 12 ISIS suspects in raids across the country

Turkish police arrested 12 people suspected of links to Islamic State (ISIS) in operations across the country, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.

Police arrested eight suspects during simultaneous raids in Istanbul, the central province of Konya and the eastern province of Van, it said citing a security source who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Another four suspects were arrested for suspected links to the jihadist organisation in the eastern province of Malatya, Anadolu said.

The suspects are accused of committing robbery to provide financial support for the group and carrying out activities to rescue ISIS members held by Kurdish forces in neighbouring Syria.

The Turkish government has increased efforts to capture members of ISIS in both in Turkey and Syria, where it launched an offensive in October targeting Kurdish forces that previously spearheaded the U.S.-led war against the jihadist group.

Turkey has so far deported 7,500 ISIS militants and there are currently 1,149 more in Turkish prisons, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last month.