A court in the northwestern province of Sakarya on Sept. 18 sentenced Halis Bayancuk, believed to be ISIS’ most senior operative in Turkey, to 12 years and six months in jail over charges of forming and managing an armed organization.
Bayancuk, who goes by the name Abu Hanzala, has been detained several times before in Turkey, on charges related to leading al Qaeda’s local section and in relation to ISIS. He was later freed because of a lack of evidence or problems involving the charges against him.
Bayancuk is often described as “the Turkish emir of ISIS.”
Several foreigners and Turkish nationals have been detained in a number of crackdowns on ISIS, but experts point out that many jihadists were subsequently released.