Indonesians missing in Turkey traveled legally

Indonesians missing in Turkey traveled legally
A general view of Istanbul.

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the passports and visas of 16 Indonesians missing in Istanbul, Turkey were all legitimate.

"There is no indication that the passports or visas that these Indonesians possessed were fraudulent," Rikwanto said at the National Police headquarters on Tuesday.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the 16 Indonesians, six of whom are children, entered Turkey with nine other Indonesians on Feb. 24 on a tour arranged by Smailing Tour travel agency. The 16 went missing after getting separated from the group following an immigration check at the airport.

The individuals were expected to rejoin the group in Pamukkale city on Feb. 26, but none of them turned up until their scheduled return on March 5.

Speculation was rife that the individuals broke from the group to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Rikwanto said the police thought it was highly likely that the 16 Indonesians separated from their tour group on purpose.

"They did not get lost or kidnapped," he said.

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