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French couple detained in Turkey over 'IS links'

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Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Istanbul where the French couple have been arrested. Jose Mario Pires/CC/Wikimedia

Turkish police have detained a French couple suspected of being Islamic State (IS) armed group members at an Istanbul airport, state media reported on Wednesday, quoting police sources.


Anti-terror squads held the couple together with their three children at Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side of Istanbul while they were attempting to travel to France on Tuesday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The police raid at the airport came after France provided Turkish security teams with intelligence.

The suspects allegedly had the intention to join the extremist IS group in Syria via Turkey, Anadolu reported.

They were due to be deported once the procedures were finalised.

Turkey has suffered a series of terror attacks blamed on IS over the past two years, including one on a popular Istanbul nightclub celebrating New Year during which 39 people were killed by an IS gunman.

After long criticised by its Western allies, Turkey cracked down on the IS group and allowed the US military to conduct air strikes on the extremist group's targets in Syria via its southern Incirlik air base.