Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Turkey has signed its death warrant

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 Part of channel(s): Syria (current event)


Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey Links

By David L. Phillips

Is Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State (ISIS)?
Allegations range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical
support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services. It is
also alleged that Turkey turned a blind eye to ISIS attacks against Kobani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu strongly deny complicity with ISIS. Erdogan visited the Council on
Foreign Relations on September 22, 2014. He criticized "smear campaigns
[and] attempts to distort perception about us." Erdogan decried, "A
systematic attack on Turkey's international reputation, "complaining that
"Turkey has been subject to very unjust and ill-intentioned news items
from media organizations." Erdogan posited: "My request from our
friends in the United States is to make your assessment about Turkey by basing
your information on objective sources."

Columbia University's Program on Peace-building and Rights
assigned a team of researchers in the United States, Europe, and Turkey to examine
Turkish and international media, assessing the credibility of allegations. This
report draws on a variety of international sources -- The New York Times, The
Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as
Turkish sources, CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal
among others.


Turkey Provides Military Equipment to ISIS

• An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014: "Most of
the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so
did our equipment and supplies."

• Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party
(CHP), produced a statement from the Adana Office of the
Prosecutor on October 14, 2014 maintaining that Turkey supplied weapons to
terror groups. He also produced interview transcripts from truck drivers who
delivered weapons to the groups. According to Kiliçdaroglu, the Turkish government claims the trucks
were for humanitarian aid to the Turkmen, but the Turkmen said no humanitarian
aid was delivered.

• According to CHP Vice President Bulent Tezcan, three trucks were stopped in Adana for inspection on
January 19, 2014. The trucks were loaded with weapons in Esenboga Airport in
Ankara. The drivers drove the trucks to the border, where a MIT agent was
supposed to take over and drive the trucks to Syria to deliver materials to
ISIS and groups in Syria. This happened many times. When the trucks were
stopped, MIT agents tried to keep the inspectors from looking inside the
crates. The inspectors found rockets, arms, and ammunitions.

• Cumhuriyet reports that Fuat Avni, a preeminent Twitter user who
reported on the December 17th corruption probe, that audio tapes confirm that
Turkey provided financial and military aid to terrorist groups associated with
Al Qaeda on October 12, 2014. On the tapes, Erdogan pressured the Turkish Armed
Forces to go to war with Syria. Erdogan demanded that Hakan Fidan, the head of
Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MIT), come up with a justification for
attacking Syria.

• Hakan Fidan told Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Yasar Guler, a
senior defense official, and Feridun Sinirlioglu, a senior foreign affairs
official: "If need be, I'll send 4 men into Syria. I'll formulate a reason
to go to war by shooting 8 rockets into Turkey; I'll have them attack the Tomb
of Suleiman Shah."

• Documents surfaced on September 19th, 2014 showing that the Saudi
Emir Bender Bin Sultan financed the transportation of arms to ISIS through
Turkey. A flight leaving Germany dropped off arms in the Etimesgut airport in
Turkey, which was then split into three containers, two of which were given to
ISIS and one to Gaza.

Turkey Provided Transport and Logistical Assistance to ISIS

• According to Radikal on June 13, 2014, Interior Minister Muammar Guler
signed a directive: "According to our regional gains, we will help
al-Nusra militants against the branch of PKK terrorist organization, the PYD,
within our borders...Hatay is a strategic location for the mujahideen crossing
from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will
be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly
take place in Hatay...MIT and the Religious Affairs Directorate will coordinate
the placement of fighters in public accommodations." 

• The Daily Mail reported on August 25, 2014 that many foreign
militants joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq after traveling through Turkey, but
Turkey did not try to stop them. This article describes how foreign militants,
especially from the UK, go to Syria and Iraq through the Turkish border. They
call the border the "Gateway to Jihad." Turkish army soldiers either
turn a blind eye and let them pass, or the jihadists pay the border guards as
little as $10 to facilitate their crossing.

• Britain's Sky News obtained documents showing that the Turkish
government has stamped passports of foreign militants seeking to cross the
Turkey border into Syria to join ISIS.

• The BBC interviewed villagers,
who claim that buses travel at night, carrying jihadists to fight Kurdish
forces in Syria and Iraq, not the Syrian Armed Forces.

• A senior Egyptian official indicated on October 9, 2014 that Turkish
intelligence is passing satellite imagery and other data to ISIS.

Turkey Provided Training to ISIS Fighters

• CNN Turk reported on July 29, 2014 that in the heart of
Istanbul, places like Duzce and Adapazari, have become gathering spots for
terrorists. There are religious orders where ISIS militants are trained. Some
of these training videos are posted on the Turkish ISIS propaganda website
takvahaber.net. According to CNN Turk, Turkish security forces could have stopped these
developments if they had wanted to.

• Turks who joined an affiliate of ISIS were recorded at a public gathering in Istanbul, which
took place on July 28, 2014.

• A video shows an ISIS affiliate holding a prayer/gathering in
Omerli, a district of Istanbul. In response to the video, CHP Vice President,
MP Tanrikulu submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of the Interior,
Efkan Ala, asking questions such as, "Is it true that a camp or
camps have been allocated to an affiliate of ISIS in Istanbul? What is this
affiliate? Who is it made up of? Is the rumor true that the same area allocated
for the camp is also used for military exercises?"

• Kemal Kiliçdaroglu warned the AKP government not to provide money and
training to terror groups on October 14, 2014. He said, "It isn't right
for armed groups to be trained on Turkish soil. You bring foreign fighters to
Turkey, put money in their pockets, guns in their hands, and you ask them to
kill Muslims in Syria. We told them to stop helping ISIS. Ahmet Davutoglu asked
us to show proof. Everyone knows that they're helping ISIS." (See HERE and HERE.)

• According to Jordanian intelligence, Turkey trained ISIS militants for special

Turkey Offers Medical Care to ISIS Fighters

• An ISIS commander told the Washington Post on August 12,
2014, "We used to have some fighters -- even high-level members of the
Islamic State -- getting treated in Turkish hospitals."

• Taraf reported on October 12, 2014 that Dengir Mir Mehmet
Fırat, a founder of the AKP, said that Turkey supported terrorist groups and
still supports them and treats them in hospitals. "In order to weaken the
developments in Rojova (Syrian Kurdistan), the government gave concessions and
arms to extreme religious groups...the government was helping the wounded. The
Minister of Health said something such as, it's a human obligation to care for
the ISIS wounded."

• According to Taraf, Ahmet El H, one of the top commanders at ISIS and
Al Baghdadi's right hand man, was treated at a hospital in Sanliurfa, Turkey,
along with other ISIS militants. The Turkish state paid for their treatment.
According to Taraf's sources, ISIS militants are being treated in hospitals all
across southeastern Turkey. More and more militants have been coming in to be
treated since the start of airstrikes in August. To be more specific, eight
ISIS militants were transported through the Sanliurfa border crossing; these
are their names: "Mustafa A., Yusuf El R., Mustafa H., Halil El M.,
Muhammet El H., Ahmet El S., Hasan H., [and] Salim El D."

Turkey Supports ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil

• On September 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration's efforts to
pressure Turkey to crack down on ISIS extensive sales network for oil. James
Phillips, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argues that Turkey has
not fully cracked down on ISIS's sales network because it benefits from a lower
price for oil, and that there might even be Turks and government officials who
benefit from the trade.

• Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on September 13, 2014
about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to nearby border towns in
Turkey. The oil is sold for as little as 1.25 liras per liter. Taştekin indicated that many of these illegal pipelines were
dismantled after operating for 3 years, once his article was published.

• According to Diken and OdaTV, David Cohen, a Justice
Department official, says that there are Turkish individuals acting as middlemen
to help sell ISIS's oil through Turkey.

• On October 14, 2014, a German Parliamentarian from the
Green Party accused Turkey of allowing the transportation of arms to
ISIS over its territory, as well as the sale of oil.

Turkey Assists ISIS Recruitment

• Kerim Kiliçdaroğlu claimed on October 14, 2014 that ISIS offices in
Istanbul and Gaziantep are used to recruit fighters. On October 10, 2014, the
mufti of Konya said that 100 people from Konya joined ISIS 4 days ago. (See HERE and HERE.)

• OdaTV reports that Takva Haber serves as a propaganda
outlet for ISIS to recruit Turkish-speaking individuals in Turkey and Germany.
The address where this propaganda website is registered corresponds to the
address of a school called Irfan Koleji, which was established by Ilim Yayma
Vakfi, a foundation that was created by Erdogan and Davutoglu, among others. It
is thus claimed that the propaganda site is operated from the school of the
foundation started by AKP members.

• Minister of Sports, Suat Kilic, an AKP member, visited
Salafi jihadists who are ISIS supporters in Germany. The group is known for reaching out to supporters via
free Quran distributions and raising funds to sponsor suicide attacks in Syria
and Iraq by raising money.

• OdaTV released a
video allegedly showing ISIS militants riding a bus in Istanbul.

Turkish Forces Are Fighting Alongside ISIS

• On October 7, 2014, IBDA-C, a militant Islamic
organization in Turkey, pledged support to ISIS. A Turkish friend who is a
commander in ISIS suggests that Turkey is "involved in all of this"
and that "10,000 ISIS members will come to Turkey." A Huda-Par member
at the meeting claims that officials criticize ISIS but in fact sympathize with
the group (Huda-Par, the "Free Cause Party", is a Kurdish Sunni
fundamentalist political party). BBP member claims that National Action Party
(MHP) officials are close to embracing ISIS. In the meeting, it is asserted
that ISIS militants come to Turkey frequently to rest, as though they are
taking a break from military service. They claim that Turkey will experience an
Islamic revolution, and Turks should be ready for jihad. (See HERE and HERE.)

• Seymour Hersh maintains in the London Review of Books that ISIS conducted sarin
attacks in Syria, and that Turkey was informed. "For months there had been
acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community
about the role in the war of Syria's neighbors, especially Turkey. Prime
Minister Recep Erdogan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a
jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel
groups. 'We knew there were some in the Turkish government,' a former senior US
intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, 'who
believed they could get Assad's nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack
inside Syria - and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat."

• On September 20, 2014, Demir Celik, a Member of Parliament
with the people's democratic party (HDP) claimed that Turkish Special Forces fight with ISIS.

Turkey Helped ISIS in Battle for Kobani

• Anwar Moslem, Mayor of Kobani, said on September 19, 2014:
"Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the
current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north
of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages:
Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and
videos about this. Why is ISIS strong only in Kobane's east? Why is it not
strong either in its south or west? Since these trains stopped in villages
located in the east of Kobane, we guess they had brought ammunition and
additional force for the ISIS." In the second article on September 30,
2014, a CHP delegation visited Kobani, where locals claimed that everything
from the clothes ISIS militants wear to their guns comes from Turkey. (See HERE and HERE.)

• Released by Nuhaber, a video shows Turkish military convoys carrying
tanks and ammunition moving freely under ISIS flags in the Cerablus region and
Karkamis border crossing (September 25, 2014). There are writings in Turkish on
the trucks.

• Salih Muslim, PYD head, claims that 120 militants crossed into Syria from
Turkey between October 20th and 24th, 2014.

• According to an op-ed written by a YPG commander in The New York Times on
October 29, 2014, Turkey allows ISIS militants and their equipment to pass
freely over the border.

• Diken reported, "ISIS fighters crossed the border from
Turkey into Syria, over the Turkish train tracks that delineate the border, in
full view of Turkish soldiers. They were met there by PYD fighters and

• A Kurdish commander in Kobani claims that ISIS militants have Turkish entry stamps
on their passports.

• Kurds trying to join the battle in Kobani are turned away by Turkish police at the
Turkey-Syrian border.

• OdaTV released a photograph of a Turkish soldier
befriending ISIS militants.

Turkey and ISIS Share a Worldview

• RT reports on
Vice President Joe Biden's remarks detailing Turkish support to ISIS.

• According to the Hurriyet Daily News on
September 26, 2014, "The feelings of the AKP's heavyweights are not
limited to Ankara. I was shocked to hear words of admiration for ISIL from some
high-level civil servants even in Şanliurfa. 'They are like us, fighting
against seven great powers in the War of Independence,' one said."
"Rather than the [Kurdistan Workers' Party] PKK on the other side, I would
rather have ISIL as a neighbor," said another."

• Cengiz Candar, a well-respected Turkish journalist, maintained that MIT helped "midwife" the
Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, as well as other Jihadi groups.

• An AKP council member posted on his Facebook page: "Thankfully ISIS
exists... May you never run out of ammunition..."

• A Turkish Social Security Institution supervisor uses the ISIS logo in internal correspondences.

• Bilal Erdogan and Turkish officials meet alleged ISIS fighters.

Mr. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building
and Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He
served as a Senior Adviser and Foreign Affairs Expert for the U.S. Department
of State.

Author's Note: Information presented in this paper is
offered without bias or endorsement
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