Suhayra Aden, alleged to be a terrorist.
Suhayra Aden, alleged to be a terrorist.

The government have accepted Turkish request to deport alleged terrorist Suhayra Aden and her children back to NZ

News 26/07/2021

LATEST: After much debate around the country just months ago, the government has accepted the Turkish request to deport alleged Islamic State terrorist Suhayra Aden and her two children to NZ.

They were detained in an immigration center in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria in the early parts of this year. Turkey asked that New Zealand take the family back in.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed Monday that the government will accept this request for both the mother & alleged Islamic State terrorist Suhayra Aden, along with her two children.

The alleged ISIS-linked Australian-NZ citizen Suhayra Aden
The alleged ISIS-linked Australian-NZ citizen Suhayra Aden

Listen to caller Donna share her thoughts on alleged terrorist Suhayra Aden situation with Danny Watson on Magic Talk.

"New Zealand has not taken this step lightly. We have taken into account our international responsibilities as well as the details of this particular case, including the fact that children are involved," Jacinda Ardern said. 

"I can assure people great care is being taken as to how the woman and her young children are returned to New Zealand and how they will be managed in a way that minimises any risk for New Zealanders.

"They are not Turkey's responsibility, and with Australia refusing to accept the family, that makes them ours."

You may remember much of the controversy kicked off when the dual-citizenship holding Aden had her Australian citizenship revoked by the Australian government, effectively making Aden New Zealand's problem rather than their own.

Ardern said on Monday negotiations with Australia are ongoing. 

"As most New Zealanders know, I made very strong representations to Australia that she should be permitted to return there. Her family moved to Australia when she was six and she grew up there before departing for Syria in 2014, on an Australian passport. 

"Unfortunately, Australia would not reverse the cancellation of citizenship. However, Australia has subsequently assured us it will proactively consult with New Zealand if any such case arises in future."

As Aden is technically a NZ citizen, we legally cannot revoke her citizenship and make her stateless, meaning this country is the only place Aden can now legally reside.

"While negotiations with Australia have taken place, extensive contingency planning has been underway involving the police and several other agencies and the Government wants to be as upfront with people as it can be about the planned return.

"Planning by agencies has been two-fold - to ensure all appropriate steps are in place to address potential security concerns and to have the right services in place to support reintegration, with particular focus on the wellbeing of the children."