ISIL recruits Chinese with fake Turkish passports from Istanbul 11 April 2015 War Reports 9561 Source: BGN News Thu 9 April 2015 The Turkish daily Meydan has uncovered a network based out of Istanbul, recruiting and facilitating the transport of fighters from China’s autonomous Turkic Uighur Xinjiang region to Syria and Iraq. The network is based out of Zeytinburnu, a district on Istanbul’s European side which is home to a community of Uighurs who live in Turkey. It is headed by Nurali T, a businessman who has been facilitating the movement of Uighurs from China to Syria and Iraq via Turkey since 2011. He is known by his code name Abbas. An individual who works for him, AG, says that a total of 100,000 fake Turkish passports have been produced, 50,000 of which have been shipped to China to be handed to fighters recruited to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). According to the article Uighurs are joining the fight, traveling from China through Thailand and Cambodia before reaching Malaysia, which has no visa requirements with Turkey. A fee of USD 200 is taken from the recruits. The fighters then spend a night in Istanbul in motels, hotels or safe-house apartments before heading to Turkey’s Southeast and East the next day to cross into Syria and Iraq. The individuals carrying fake passports are often caught at the airport in Istanbul. As to why they have been able to enter Turkey and not get deported, AG says, “Turkey has secret dealings with the Uighurs. The authorities first confiscate the passports but then release the individuals.” The Uighurs are a Turkic speaking group numbering around 10 million in China. Close to 50,000 live in Turkey.