In the early hours of 22 February, simultaneous police raids were conducted in which 14 suspects with alleged links to the Islamic State terrorist organization, as stated by a source from the Turkish security forces. The raids, which were conducted in the capital Ankara, were based on the information acquired by counterterrorism police and intelligence services that 21 suspects were located in the city, according to an anonymous source.
During the arrests, 14 non-Turkish suspects were arrested due to having contacts from the conflict zones in the southeast of the country and 7 other suspects have fled from the police operations. The search for the remaining 7 suspects has begun, the anonymous source said.
In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to recognize the Islamic State as a terrorist organization. Since then, the country has witnessed numerous terrorist attacks including at least 10 suicide attacks, 7 bomb attacks, and 4 armed assaults, which have caused the death of more than 300 innocent civilians and injured hundreds more. In retaliation to these acts of terror, Turkey began launching counterterrorism operations to prevent further attacks from taking place.