Turkey says Britain `too late` to raise alarm on missing girls

 Turkey accused Britain of being too late to inform the Turkish authorities over the departure to its territory of three teenage British girls feared to be on their way to Syria.

AFP| Updated: Feb 24, 2015, 15:31 PM IST

Ankara: Turkey accused Britain of being too late to inform the Turkish authorities over the departure to its territory of three teenage British girls feared to be on their way to Syria.

The three girls, aged between 15 and 17, boarded a flight from London to Istanbul last week and police suspect they planned to transit Turkish territory on their way to join Islamic State (IS) jihadist fighters in Syria.

"Of course, Turkey is not at fault here," Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bulent Arinc told Turkish reporters late Monday after a cabinet meeting.

"We are taking the necessary measures. But countries like Britain need to share the information with us."

"Britain passed on their information three days after" the arrival of the girls in Istanbul, he said.

Turkey has repeatedly been accused by its Western allies of failing to do enough to stop the transfer of jihadists, as well as their female companions, across its territory on their way to Syria.

Arinc`s complaints echo similar remarks made by Turkish officials after Hayat Boumeddiene, the wanted partner of one of the gunmen behind the January terror attacks in France, travelled undetected through Turkey on her way to Syria. 

In that case, Ankara accused the French authorities of failing to share information in a timely manner about the wanted woman`s departure for Turkey.