Turkish and Israeli officials worked together to locate and return a young person who had left the country to join Islamic State, in what has become a rare instance of cooperation between the two countries.
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Alon Lavi, the 21-year-old’s parents notified the ministry on Thursday that their son had flown to Crete en route to Syria, with probable intentions to join ISIS.
A combined operation conducted by Israel, Interpol and Turkish authorities and police succeeded in tracking him down in Iskenderun, near the Turkish-Syrian border.
The parents went to Iskenderun, where they took custody of their son and escorted him back to Israel on Tuesday. (Parents remain legal guardians over their children after they reach the age of 18 in cases where the child has mental disabilities.)
Ilana Ravid, director of the ministry’s department that handles cases of Israelis abroad, said the case was “complicated and worrisome,” but “with the diplomatic help of the Israeli representatives in Turkey, and the good will of of the Turkish authorities, there was a good ending to the incident.”
The incident could be another harbinger of improving relations between Israel and Turkey.
A Turkish economic delegation met Monday in Tel Aviv with Likud Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, the acting minister of the Regional Cooperation Ministry, to discuss a proposal for setting up an industrial zone near Jenin.