Turkish authorities have banned thousands of suspected foreign fighters so far, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Wednesday as he spoke at the annual ambassadors' conference in Ankara, the Turkish capital.
"We issued a ban for 7,833 people and deported around 1,056," Ala added.
Turkish authorities have repeatedly said that no foreign fighters will be allowed to cross Turkey to reach Iraq or Syria, whether they fight for the Syrian opposition or ISIL.
"In our region, there are very few countries as stable as Turkey," Ala said. "There are too few democratic, politically stable and economically developed countries."
On Dec. 25, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu had said that Turkey stands firmly against the presence of foreign fighters in either Iraq or Syria.
The interior minister also said that Turkey has spent more than $4.6 billion to support Syrian and Iraqi refugees, while other countries spent just $200-250 million.
The number of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Turkey stands at more than 1.6 million, Ala added.
Turkey will 'never close its door' to refugees, says PM
Turkey will “never close its door to incomers” the country’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has said.
Davutoglu was speaking after a meeting in Ankara with Thorbjorn Jagland, the secretary general of the Council of Europe, on Wednesday.
Prime Ministry sources said the pair focused on the Syrian refugee issue and the fallout from the Arab Spring uprisings.
The Arab Spring revolution in the Middle East, which began in Tunisia in 2011, triggered a series of rebellions against ruling regimes across the region.
Those uprisings ultimately led to the fall of longstanding strongmen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and brought about a civil war in Syria.
Davutoglu said Turkey had spent $5.5 billion for refugees fleeing civil war in their homelands, adding: "Turkey will never close its door to incomers [refugees]."
Jagland praised Turkey for its hospitality and said it had undertaken a key role in the refugee issue.
The secretary-general also said there had been a decrease in cases in the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey, calling this development “important.”