The Turks to ISIS: ‘Let’s Make a Deal’

29/07/2015 13:30

The Turks to ISIS: ‘Let’s Make a Deal’


As tens of thousands of refugees flee the latest ISIS advances, Kurdish politicians in Turkey are accusing Ankara of helping the so-called Islamic State in its blitzkrieg through neighboring Syria. The Daily beast reports.

The accusations echo concerns both inside and outside Turkey that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tolerated extremist groups in Syria in the hope that their fighters would speed the downfall of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. But at the same time in a region of confused alliances where it’s increasingly obvious the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend, Ankara has undermined American efforts to build an anti-ISIS coalition.

The fresh allegations against Erdogan came on the same day that he revealed “diplomatic and political bargaining” with ISIS had freed 46 Turkish and three Iraqi hostages that had been in the hands of the extremists since June. ISIS itself said Turkey had promised not to take part in a U.S.-led coalition that is preparing military strikes against the militants in Syria.

Takva Haber, a Turkish website that often reflects ISIS thinking, said the order to release the Turkish hostages had come directly from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “A phase of negotiations, held basically between two states,” had led to the outcome, the website said.

Recognition of ISIS or ISIL as a “state” at any level or in any form is precisely what al-Baghdadi is looking for and U.S. President Barack Obama vehemently opposes.

“ISIL is certainly not a state,” Obama said this month. “It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”

Takva Haber begs to differ. Through the hostage negotiations, Turkey had indirectly recognized the ISIS “caliphate,” it said, and suggested that the hostage release was a quid pro quo for Turkey’s refusal to aid the anti-ISIS alliance. “The state of the Turkish republic has taken a stance against a new occupation [of Syria and Iraq] by rejecting participation in the U.S. occupation coalition.”

Erdogan has insisted that no monetary ransom was paid, but he confirmed on Sunday that Turkey’s intelligence service did negotiate with ISIS. Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Erdogan said there were critics accusing Turkey of bargaining with ISIS. “If they are referring to financial bargaining, this is out of the question,” he said. “But if they are referring to a diplomatic bargaining, of course we are talking about a political, diplomatic bargaining. This is a diplomatic victory.”
“Diplomacy” is not normally a word associated with terrorist hostage negotiations.

The Turkish president did not give details about the substance of the arrangements between Turkey’s MIT intelligence service and ISIS. But Emre Uslu, a columnist for the Taraf newspaper and a prominent Erdogan critic, has listed several possible Turkish concessions to ISIS. Among them: Ankara might have assured ISIS that Turkey would not take part in a military campaign against the jihadists, or might have promised help for ISIS’s fight against Syrian Kurds.

“Whoever supports ISIS today could become the target of ISIS attacks tomorrow.”
In recent days ISIS forces have rolled through dozens of mainly Kurdish towns and villages in northeastern Syria. Turkey’s disaster relief agency said on Sunday that in recent days around 100,000 Syrian Kurds had crossed the border near the Syrian town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobane in Kurdish. News reports said ISIS fighters were advancing toward Kobane through surrounded villages and were about 10 miles from the town on Sunday.

Kobane is part of an unofficial autonomous region near the Turkish border carved out by Kurds in the power vacuum of the Syrian civil war. ISIS is trying to defeat the Kurds in the region, known as Rojava, and consolidate its own position near the border, where some areas are already under the control of the self-styled “caliphate.” (Smuggling diesel into Turkey is a major source of ISIS revenue.)

The main Kurdish militia in Rojava is the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an offshoot of the Turkish-Kurdish rebel movement known as the PKK. According to news reports, the PKK has sent several hundred fighters from Turkey to Syria to help the PYD against the jihadists.

On Sunday, Turkish security forces blocked Kurds from crossing the border from Turkey into Syria, triggering violent clashes and fresh accusations of cooperation between Turkey and ISIS. Referring to Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Zubeyde Zumrut, a Kurdish politician from Diyarbakir, Turkey’s main Kurdish city, told a rally on Sunday that “ISIS equals AKP and AKP equals ISIS.”

Kurdish politicians in Turkey say the Ankara government is concerned Kurdish autonomy in Rojava could lead to similar demands on the Turkish side of the border. “We have seen that the state does not help,” says Aysel Tugluk, a Kurdish lawmaker in Turkey’s parliament. She said Ankara should understand that Kurdish autonomy like that practiced in Rojava was actually good for Turkey’s national security, but that helping ISIS was not. “Whoever supports ISIS today could become the target of ISIS attacks tomorrow,” she said.

Ayla Akat Ata, another Kurdish deputy in parliament in Ankara, said she had received reports saying that arms supplies for ISIS had crossed the border from Turkey into Syria by train. She said the weapons were meant for ISIS troops involved in the onslaught on Rojava. Ata wants the government to state officially whether the reports are true or not. There has been no reply yet.

Before Erdogan left for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Obama and other leaders, he said on Sunday that his government was helping all refugees coming across the border from Syria and Iraq, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Turkey has already taken in about 1.2 million Syrians and is struggling alongside the U.N. Refugee Agency to care for the new arrivals near Kobane.

Erdogan said he and Obama had discussed the idea to create buffer zones within Syria to house and feed refugees there. The Turkish military has been working on plans for the buffer zones, but it remains unclear whether Turkey itself would take part in securing the areas militarily. Erdogan said on Sunday that the danger to the Turkish refugees had prevented him from accepting demands by Turkey’s western allies for support for the anti-ISIS alliance that Obama wants to forge. But he did not say whether this position would change now that the hostages are free.

Ziya Meral, the Turkey analyst at the Foreign Policy Centre, a think tank in London, told Al-Jazeera that Erdogan was unlikely to opt for a more active role for Turkey in the movement against ISIS. He said Turkey was expecting the U.S. to come up with a plan for the future of Syria and Iraq once ISIS was defeated militarily. “It would be rather naïve to anticipate Turkey to start partaking in a public campaign against ISIS without a robust plan as to what will happen next,” Meral said.


In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the editor by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.

Newsfeed

18/02/2019 17:25 Iran convinced that Artsakhi-Azerbaijani border to never change in Azerbaijan’s favor: expert 18/02/2019 16:37 Nikol’s only tool is ensuring cheap scenes: Sedrak Kocharyan 18/02/2019 15:28 Current system of governance not effective for Armenia at present: political technologist 18/02/2019 14:54 Government to submit its structural changes bill to parliament soon 18/02/2019 14:37 The Cafesjian Center for the Arts and Beeline Gifted Books on the Occasion of Hovhannes Tumanyan’s 150th Anniversary 18/02/2019 14:33 NA to discuss constitutional reforms at proper time: vice speaker 18/02/2019 14:07 Grand Holding Armenia’s leading tax payer, exporter and investor (video) 18/02/2019 13:51 I became fugitive out of the blue and now I became Prime Minister out of the blue: Pashinyan 18/02/2019 13:25 Pashinyan calls Merkel and Grybauskaitė “Euramamas” 18/02/2019 13:10 My backpack prepared for going home after revolution still on my shoulders: Pashinyan 18/02/2019 12:43 Ex-DM Seyran Ohanyan’s defense team claims accusation against the ex official unclear 18/02/2019 12:24 Armenia plans to purchase 12 SU-30SM fighter jets from Russia: DM 18/02/2019 12:10 Armenia to get new loan from Russia to buy weapon: Armenia’s DM 17/02/2019 15:06 Visit of Armenia’s PM to Brussels in preparation phase: Armenia’s FM 17/02/2019 14:32 Not scheduled meeting between Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs does not mean there is nothing to discuss: Zohrab Mnatsakanyan 16/02/2019 18:35 Armenian, Iranian FMs discuss bilateral cooperation issues, refer to Karabakh conflict settlement 16/02/2019 15:51 Armenian, Russian FMs discuss Karabakh conflict settlement prospects: Russian MFA 16/02/2019 15:32 Armenian, Russian FMs meet in Munich 16/02/2019 13:39 Azerbaijani side fires over 1,700 shots in the direction of the Armenian postguards during past week 16/02/2019 13:36 NSS summons ex SRC Gagik Khachatryan 16/02/2019 12:43 Implementation of Armenia-EU agreement opens new opportunities for cooperation: Armenia’s FM meets with Dutch counterpart 16/02/2019 12:19 Revolution seems not to serve citizens but just few “proud” citizens for them to reach their goals: Arman Babajanyan 16/02/2019 11:47 Armenia’s FM briefs on Armenia’s approaches over Karabakh conflict settlement to UK State Minister 16/02/2019 11:31 Armenia’s FM, Senator Menendez discuss Armenian-American partnership development 16/02/2019 10:50 Armenia’s DM departs for UAE to participate in Abu Dhabi International Defense Conference 16/02/2019 10:23 Zhamanak: Gevorg Kostanyan to probably be appointed NSS deputy chief 16/02/2019 09:55 Lars open for all kinds of vehicles 15/02/2019 20:48 Armenia’s FM meets with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations 15/02/2019 20:40 Armenian PM, Swiss Ambassador discuss issues of cooperation development 15/02/2019 20:34 Armenian Republican party members meet with Russian State Duma delegation 15/02/2019 20:20 Preliminary investigation of criminal cases against Kocharyan, Ohanyan, Khachaturov, Gevorgyan completed 15/02/2019 19:27 Change of ex-MP Manvel Grigoryan’s prevention measure to be examined on February 26 15/02/2019 18:55 With its positive evaluations Russia aims at irritating the U.S. side: political analyst on deploying Armenian humanitarian mission in Syria 15/02/2019 17:28 Armenian NA chairman to visit Moscow in late February 15/02/2019 17:16 Manvel Grigoryan did not give testimony against anyone: attorney 15/02/2019 16:55 Talks about Armenia’s withdrawal from EAEU untrue: Kalashnikov 15/02/2019 16:36 Russia to highly evaluate deployment of Armenian humanitarian mission in Syria: Kalashnikov 15/02/2019 16:12 Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: Egyptian president may rule until 2034 15/02/2019 15:31 Yerevan transport network in extremely bad condition: Mayor 15/02/2019 15:06 Armenian government’s grounding of rejection of bill lacks any humane motivation: Naira Zohrabyan 15/02/2019 14:27 Armenia’s nature protection minister to depart for Kenya 15/02/2019 14:11 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may be very dangerous if not managed right: Armenian president 15/02/2019 13:46 827 million AMD returned to the state budget: Davit Sanasaryan 15/02/2019 13:27 People steal road signs on highway taking up to Iranian border: minister 15/02/2019 12:51 Government’s program lacks power differentiating mechanisms: human rights advocate 15/02/2019 12:27 8-10,5 billion AMD debt gathered in water system: Armenia’s PM 15/02/2019 11:57 Farmers to be encouraged to develop sheep breeding 15/02/2019 11:48 Artsakh president receives Armenia's NSC secretary 15/02/2019 11:44 Armenian society perceives government’s economic revolution formula: PM 15/02/2019 11:27 We have a number of investment projects at our hand: Armenia’s Prime Minister 15/02/2019 11:14 December 9 elections first ones not disputed by any political forces: CEC chairman 15/02/2019 10:54 Stepantsminda-Lars highway is open for all kinds of vehicles 15/02/2019 10:21 Trump to declare 'emergency' over Mexico border wall 14/02/2019 21:12 Republican party convenes Executive Body’s session chaired by Serzh Sargsyan 14/02/2019 19:08 Prosperous Armenia faction MP Eduard Babayan to face trial 14/02/2019 18:50 Azerbaijan lost Artsakh long ago, Armenia has settled the issue: political analyst 14/02/2019 17:21 Ucom Subscribers to Watch "The Ancient Kings" Historical Drama for Free 14/02/2019 17:10 Armenia’s steps raise some hopes among Azerbaijani president: political analyst 14/02/2019 16:45 Leader Pashinyan behaved very bad today: Edmon Marukyan 14/02/2019 16:14 Pashinyan to Bright Armenia: What are you doing here if revolution has not taken place? 14/02/2019 15:56 Armenian government’s program adopted: 37 MPs voted against it 14/02/2019 15:52 Armenia has new quality parliament: Nikol Pashinyan 14/02/2019 15:33 CSTO secretary general’s post not a “hotel room to book”: Belarusian MFA to official Yerevan 14/02/2019 14:51 CC gives proceeding to second president’s application: Kocharyan’s representative 14/02/2019 14:29 The only guilty of poverty in 90s was Levon Ter-Petrosyan: Edmon Marukyan 14/02/2019 13:57 We love each other and we will build our water reservoirs: Ararat Mirzoyan on citizens, water reservoirs, Edmon Marukyan 14/02/2019 13:01 Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting obviously being prepared: political analyst 14/02/2019 12:50 Charges against ex-MP Manvel Grigoryan added, search declared for son 14/02/2019 11:50 Ruling authorities fail to defend vital state institutions: Bright Armenia PM 14/02/2019 11:29 Armenia’s FM to pay working visit to Munich 14/02/2019 10:53 Airbus says A380 superjumbo production will end 14/02/2019 10:23 Zhoghovurd: Pashinyan plans to propose a post to Artsvik Minasyan 13/02/2019 22:15 Armenia’s MFA takes note of statement of U.S. Department of State about Armenian mission in Syria: MFA spokesperson 13/02/2019 21:09 Armenia to continue purchasing SU-30 fighter aircraft: Defense minister 13/02/2019 20:55 Armenia’s assistance to Syrian people may not be speculated in any way: Armenia’s DM 13/02/2019 19:29 Government to allow import of right-wheel vehicles by April 1 13/02/2019 17:00 Head of Philippines news site Rappler arrested 13/02/2019 16:30 Another Caucasian leopard spotted by cameras in Armenia 13/02/2019 16:01 Government steps back from changes in tax legislation relating to advocates: Nikol Pashinyan 13/02/2019 15:30 Opposition fails to make constructive proposals over content of government’s program: deputy PM 13/02/2019 15:07 No problem with America can be resolved: Iran Supreme Leader 13/02/2019 14:24 Monitoring of Ceasefire Regime on Line of Contact between Armed Forces of Artsakh and Azerbaijan passes in accordance with agreed schedule 13/02/2019 14:15 Armenia has no intention to participate in military actions in Syria: Armenia's PM, DM make contradicting statements 13/02/2019 14:02 Economic revolution appeared to be mass participation in the economic life of the country: Khosrov Harutyunyan 13/02/2019 13:49 USA’s tough response to Armenian mission in Syria predictable: political analyst 13/02/2019 13:30 Azerbaijan urges Pashinyan not to tense situation over Karabakh conflict: Azerbaijani MFA representative 13/02/2019 13:06 Gas price not to grow for Armenian consumers in 2019: Armenia’s PM 13/02/2019 12:51 Government’s program lacks ideology: Artsvik Minasyan 13/02/2019 12:41 Current government has issues with law, constitutionality and right: ARF-D member 13/02/2019 12:18 Bright Armenia faction MPs seem to be afraid of government’s success: Nikol Pashinyan 13/02/2019 12:06 USA does not support Armenian-Russian cooperation for humanitarian mission in Syria: U.S. Department of State 13/02/2019 11:47 Nigeria stampede: Deaths at Buhari rally in Port Harcourt 13/02/2019 11:30 Oil pushed up by deepening OPEC supply cuts, sanctions on Venezuela 13/02/2019 11:02 Zhamanak: Gazprom Armenia to cut 1,200-1,500 employees 13/02/2019 10:45 New criminal charges against Kocharyan testify March 1 case is “water”: Armen Ashotyan 13/02/2019 10:37 Kocharyan’s defense team receives decision of the court, to appeal it at Court of Cassation 12/02/2019 22:49 Serviceman of Karabakh Defense Army dies of hepatic insufficiency 12/02/2019 21:16 PAP leader to depart for Sochi on February 13 at the invitation of Russia’s president 12/02/2019 21:08 New charge filed against Armenia’s second president 12/02/2019 18:02 Consequences of annulling concession agreement with Russian South Caucasian Railways company to be felt in few months: economist