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Man held for allegedly helping British schoolgirls cross into Syria

A man has been detained for allegedly helping three British schoolgirls cross into Syria, Turkey's foreign minister has said.

The man worked for the intelligence services of a country in the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS), Mevlut Cavusoglu is quoted by Turkish media saying.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase, all students at Bethnal Green academy in east London, fled the UK last month to reportedly join IS.

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Syria runaway girls not classed as 'unaccompanied minors'

Turkish authorities will only treat young people as "unaccompanied minors" if they are aged 11 or under, an ambassador for the country has revealed.

Turkish ambassador in London, Abdurrahman Bilgic, appeared before MPs at the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions about three London schoolgirls who ran away to Syria via Istanbul.

Turkish ambassador in London, Abdurrahman Bilgic, gave evidence to MPs

Asked whether he thought authorities in Turkey should have stepped in to quiz the girls on whey they were in the country alone, he said that young people were only treated as "unaccompanied minors", and the appropriate protective actions taken, if they were aged under 12.

He said children and teenagers aged over 12 under 16 could only be treated as unaccompanied minors if there was a formal request ahead of the date of travel.

He added that through UK and Turkish authorities working together, sharing information and resources, he believed the three girls could be found and brought back home.

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