ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police have detained eight people at Istanbul’s main Ataturk airport on suspicion of having links with Islamic State, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.
The group said they were coming from Casablanca, Morocco, late on Tuesday for a vacation in Istanbul and that they had reservations at a hotel, but police found no evidence of their booking, Anadolu reported.
The authorities in Turkey have detained more than 1,000 people on suspected links to Islamist militants since the beginning of the year, in raids that have been stepped up since Ankara declared what it described as a “synchronized war on terror” in July. Around 300 have been formally charged.
Police also detained 41 people at Ataturk airport earlier this month after a tip-off from a fellow passenger on their flight from Morocco, 20 of whom were immediately deported.
Citing police sources, Anadolu said the authorities found a piece of paper on one of the individuals detained late on Tuesday with a drawing that outlined a plan of how to get to Germany by bus, boat and train.
The fight against the radical jihadists has taken on a new intensity since attacks claimed by the group killed 129 people in Paris last week.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall/Jeremy Gaunt