Independent organisations are still actively engaged in locating and rescuing Yazidi women who were kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) during the Syrian civil war and are currently being held captive in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, said Meral Danış Beştaş, a member of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Green Left Party, during a parliamentary session on Friday. Beştaş expressed concerns about the Turkish government’s role in safeguarding ISIS members.
Recently, a 21-year-old Yazidi woman, who had been held captive by an ISIS member in a residence in Ankara, was successfully liberated. This achievement was made possible through the collaborative efforts of her relatives and a European organisation, which negotiated her release by paying a ransom to the involved ISIS member, as reported by Artı Gerçek.
“We have witnessed several similar cases before,” Beştaş stated. “As the capital city, Ankara should have robust surveillance and security measures in place. How many ISIS safe houses exist, and why have these locations not been identified?”
The ISIS member, known under the pseudonym Abu Hamza, had close ties to Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan Al Issawi, the Iraq Commander of ISIS, who was killed in a US attack in 2021.
The rescued woman, who was freed after a $15,000 ransom was paid, was initially captured by ISIS in 2014 when she was 12 years old. In 2016, she was sold to the Iraqi jihadist. In 2019, she was illicitly brought to Turkey through routes originating from the Syrian border.
Subsequently, the jihadist presented counterfeit documents to Turkish authorities, misrepresenting himself and the Yazidi woman as Syrians. As a result, Temporary Protection Identification Cards, typically issued to Syrian refugees by Turkey, were provided to both individuals based on fraudulent claims.
Following the loss of power in Iraq and Syria, ISIS members entered Turkey through illegal routes, bringing with them some of the Yazidi women who were abducted during the heinous massacre carried out by the extremist group in Sinjar (Şengal) in August 2014. These women were subjected to torture and sexual slavery.