3 ISIS Protest in Turkey Istanbul Taksim Square against the attacks of US
Some readers https://twitter.com/SELVATOR2/status/478190166813986816
that the Republic of Turkey has supported the "Islamic State in Iraq
and Syria," the main Sunni group fighting in Iraq. They point to ISIS
attacks on Turkish interests, www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/03/turkeys_isil_problem, along its insidethejihad.com/2014/04/turkey-and-the-isis-opportunity/, and www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-foreign-ministry-warns-for;amp;nID=67813&NewsCatID=510 and a successful recent www.worldbulletin.net/news/138544/irans-rouhani-hails-visit- of the Turkish and Iranian presidents. Good points, but they can be explained.
First, ISIS is willing to accept Turkish support even while seeing the Islamist prime minister and his countrymen as kafirs (infidels) who need to be shown true Islam.
Second, the presidential visit took place on one level while the
fighting in Syria and Iraq took place on quite another; the two can
www.danielpipes.org/blog/2011/07/turkish-iranian-rivalry-on- and, as the distinguished Turkish journalist www.meforum.org/3768/turkey-iran-friendship notes in the current issue of the Middle East Quarterly:
Recent years have often seen official language from the
two countries about prospering bilateral trade and common anti-Israeli
ideological solidarity. But mostly out of sight have been indications of
rivalry, distrust, and mutual sectarian suspicion between the two
Ankara may deny helping ISIS, but the evidence for this is overwhelming. "As we have the longest border with Syria," writes https://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/orhan-kemal-cengiz_350,
a Turkish newspaper columnist, "Turkey's support was vital for the
jihadists in getting in and out of the country."
Indeed, the ISIS www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/11/world/middleeast/isis not coincidentally cluster close to Turkey's frontiers.
www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/6/turkey5045.htm and the www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/06/iraq-fall-mosul-is agree that Syrians, Turks (estimated to number www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/138960/turkey-denies-turki),and foreign fighters (especially Saudis but also a fair number of
Westerners) have crossed the Turkish-Syrian border at will, often to
What Turkish journalist www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/gursel-al-qaeda-i;amp;utm_campaign=8db3943fde-January_9_20141_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-8db3943fde-93111661
calls a "two-way jihadist highway," has no bothersome border checks and
sometimes involves the active assistance of Turkish intelligence
CNN even broadcast a video on "The secret jihadi smuggling route through Turkey."
Actually, the Turks offered far more than an easy border crossing:
they provided the bulk of ISIS' funds, logistics, training and arms.
Turkish residents near the Syrian border tell of english.al-akhbar.com/node/17111
going to Kurdish-ISIS battle zones and then evacuating ISIS casualties
to Turkish hospitals.
Indeed, a sensational photograph has surfaced
showing ISIS commander www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-lawmakers-accuse-turkish-gover;amp;nID=67750&NewsCatID=338 receiving treatment for battle wounds in Hatay State Hospital in April 2014.One Turkish opposition politician estimates that Turkey www.al-monitor.com/pulse/business/2014/06/turkey-syria-isis-;amp;utm_campaign=8db3943fde-January_9_20141_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-8db3943fde-93111661 to ISIS for oil shipments.
Another politician released information about en.firatnews.com/news/news/has-the-turkish-army-trained-isis training ISIS members. Critics note that english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2014/06/16/I Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has met three times with someone, Yasin al-Qadi, who has close ties to ISIS and has funded it.
Why the Turkish support for wild-eyed extremists? Because Ankara
wants to eliminate two Syrian polities, the Assad regime in Damascus and
Rojava (the emerging Kurdish state) in the northeast.
Regarding the Assad regime: "Thinking that jihadists would ensure a
quick fall for the Assad regime in Syria, Turkey, no matter how
vehemently officials deny it, supported the jihadists," writes Cengiz,
"at first along with Western and some Arab countries and later in spite
of their warnings."Regarding www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/zaman-syria-kurds:
Rojava's leadership being aligned with the PKK, the (formerly)
terrorist Kurdish group based in Turkey, the authoritative Turkish
journalist Amberin Zaman has little doubt "that until recently, Turkey
was allowing jihadist fighters to move unhindered across its borders" to
fight the Kurds.
More broadly, as the Turkish analyst www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-wakes-up-to-jihadist-terror;amp;nID=67771&NewsCatID=411
notes, Ankara thought "anybody who fought al-Assad was a good guy and
also harbored an "ideological uneasiness with accepting that Islamists
can do terrible things." This has led, he acknowledges, to "some
blindness" toward violent jihadists.
Indeed, ISIS is so popular in Turkey that others publicly www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-based-islamic-charity-org;amp;nID=67896&NewsCatID=341.
In the face of this support, the online newspaper www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/turkey-isis-borde calls on Turkey to close its border to ISIS while Rojava threatened Ankara with "english.al-akhbar.com/node/17111" unless Turkish aid ceases.
In conclusion, Turkish leaders are finding Syria a double quagmire,
what with Assad still in power and the Kurdish entity growing stronger.
In reaction, they have cooperated with even the most extreme, retrograde
and vicious elements, such as ISIS.
But this support opened a second
front in Iraq which, in turn, brings the clash of the Middle East's two
titans, Turkey and Iran, closer to realization.