Violent Jihad

Turkey’s Decline into Islamism

Leaked documents show Turkish police collaborating with the Islamic State.

BY Immanuel Al-Manteeqi · @Al_Manteeqi | May 24, 2016

Four hundred and twenty-two leaked documents, including transcriptions of wiretapped phone conversations, have brought to the surface even more evidence that Turkey routinely ignores ISIS’ cross-border activity. The leaked wiretaps reportedly transcribe phone conversations belonging to about 1,000 alleged ISIS operatives and their affiliates who are active in Turkey. Included among the list are relatively prominent figures like lhami Bali and Abu Hanzala. Ilham Bali is a well-known ISIS operative suspected of playing a role in high-profile bomb attacks in Ankara and Suric, Turkey, in 2015. He currently has a bounty on his head equivalent to 1.4 million United States dollars.  Abu Hanzala is an ISIS affiliate who runs a website calling for the massacre of minorities. He has previously been arrested, only to be released by a Turkish court.

The leaked transcriptions paint a picture of a little scrutinized border, with thousands of ISIS fighters and their families crossing the border on a daily basis. The conversations reveal that ISIS has contacts among Turkish border security who work to free Islamic State militants if they are apprehended as they try to cross into Turkey. Bali’s conversations also reveal that wounded ISIS militants are being smuggled into Turkey to receive advanced medical treatment. Still more damning is that the Turkish secret police is aware of these terrorist operations but is doing relatively little to inhibit them. The documents suggest that the Turkish police even know the addresses where many of the terrorists are.

Turkish opposition parties and journalists are sounding the trumpet on what they believe is Erdoğan’s intentional blind eye towards Islamic radicalism. One particularly vocal trumpet blower is Eren Erdem, the person who leaked the documents. A member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and a Turkish member of parliament, he is someone who Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has previously called a traitor for stating that ISIS received Sarin gas from Turkey under the table. Indeed, Turkish prosecutors have opened an investigation concerning him for treason despite the fact that he has prosecutorial immunity as a member of parliament.  Erdoğan’s allies in parliament are trying to expel him from the body so he can face prosecution.

Regarding these leaked wiretaps, the controversial Erdem states the following:

These phone conversations include terrorist locations. Which hotel they were staying in. Which petrol station they would fill up their cars at. In which Mosque at Kilis [a Turkish border city] they would gather. How many people would come and go, all of it. Even though this information was known, there is no operation against them. I am asking a simple question. Why didn’t you [the Turkish government] arrest these terrorists?

It has long been suspected that massive amounts of ISIS-sold oil is smuggled through the Turkish borders, with the Turkish government doing little to nothing about it.  Turkey’s actions also do not bode well for its relations with the West.  Recently, Erdogan has even sought to extend his dictatorial tentacles to the West, as he has asked the German government to censor a German-made poem that satirized him. Thankfully, the relevant German court upheld Western values and denied his absurd request. But it seems that the once powerfully democratic and secular country of Turkey is on its way to becoming an Islamic dictatorship. Reuters reports that Turkish prosecutors have opened over 1,800(!) cases against people “insulting” Erdogan since he became president in 2014. Quite revealingly, he reportedly said that his opponents are free to criticize him but that those who stray into insult will face legal action. Given this, it is good that Eren Erdem has immunity from prosecution as a member of the Turkish parliament. However, once he ceases to be a member of parliament, it seems that Erdoğan will come after him as well.

Erdoğan’s Turkey, which is still officially an ally of the United States and fellow NATO member, is proving to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing day after day. Erdoğan seems to be more concerned with fighting Kurds vying for self-determination than the Islamic State. Given Turkey’s recent anti-Western actions, and Erdoğan’s proclivity towards Islamism, Turkey should definitely not be admitted into the European Union.



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