Cameron: Britain, Turkey Work ‘closely’ To Stop Foreign Fighters Flow
But despite vows of increased co-operation, Ahmet Davutoglu, his Turkish opposite number, said the issue of foreign fighters had been exaggerated by the media.
The encounter underlined the increased importance many western leaders are giving to antiterrorist co-operation with Turkey — a key transit country — at a time when Ankara’s ties with traditional western allies are strained.
“We will work [together] as closely as we possibly can,” Mr Cameron said at a press conference. “Whether it is stopping people coming through Turkey to Syria or Iraq to fight for the [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] (known as Isis), whether it is about making sure we deal with people when they return, whether it is the highest level of intelligence co-operation we can possibly achieve between our countries.”
Given the large number of flights to and from Turkey — more than 2.5m British citizens visit the country every year the UK is particularly focused on improving the exchange of information on air passenger data.
Mr Cameron announced last month a series of measures to stem the flow of Britons travelling to join Isis in Syria and Iraq, including requirements on transit countries such as Turkey, to provide details of Britons boarding flights back to the UK.
At the press conference he restated Britain’s longstanding support for Turkey’s near-moribund bid for EU membership, although Downing Street stressed that he would not be prepared to countenance a sudden influx of Turkish workers to Britain.