Why Erdogan Is Soft On ISIS


Date posted: August 30, 2016

Ahmet İnsel

Turkey’s government and the media that support it have an odd attitude when it comes to violent acts carried out by ISIS: It’s as if the “cultural/ideological dialects” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government somehow malfunction.

For starters, the government has a hard time condemning the vicious massacres carried out by the organization that calls itself the Islamic State, which is just what happened with the most recent attack in Gaziantep on Aug. 20 month that killed 57 people. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not use the heavy tones of condemnation reserved for other violent organizations like the Kurdish PKK, or the Gülenist group blamed for the July 15 attempted coup. The difference with ISIS is that it touches their own ideological grassroots.

There is a really serious problem here. This hesitant attitude due to cultural and ideological affinity is the reason Turkey’s security forces are less virulent to the presence and actions of ISIS militants compared to other organizations, and why the judiciary is more understanding of them. This does not end with the ruling party and its officials: Indeed, most Sunni Muslims feel this way.

No organization name

In AKP party circles and affiliated media, beginning with President Erdogan himself, are careful to place ISIS actions within a broader definition of terrorism and terrorist organizations. The “terrorism cocktail” that Erdogan invented after the Ankara train station massacre of 2015 was the apogee of this approach. Today, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is careful to not to say the name of the organization when he declared after Gaziantep: “No matter what the name of this villainous terror that caused [the loss of] innocent life, the state, government, and nation will continue our determined fight against it.”

Erdogan at a memorial in front of Ankara's train station.

Erdogan at a memorial in front of Ankara’s train station.

Meanwhile, AKP spokesperson Yasin Aktay says: “All terrorist attacks are carried out by one hand,” implying that knowing who the terrorists actually are does not matter. I hope the security forces of Turkey do not think the same, for the sake of everybody’s safety. I hope they are not putting all the different acts of violence by different organizations for different purposes all in one basket!

Take the Turkey cells of ISIS: Their actions, purposes and target audience are, for example, incomparable with the charges brought against the Gülenist groups aligned with Fethullah Gülen. Meanwhile, the PKK is a Kurdish political organization that carries out an armed struggle that includes terrorist acts, but this does not mean they are the same as either ISIS or the Gülenists. It is not comparable either in political, organizational or criminal terms.

To come up with such a generalist view of terrorism is of course not done without purpose. The facts are knowingly being hidden when the group in question is the Islamic State. In the last three years, the AKP government has rejected all parliamentary motions by the opposition to investigate the structure of ISIS in Turkey — or even to discuss it in the parliament.

I am not here to say that such attacks by ISIS can be prevented by different words or acts of parliament. Yet this this attitude is a clear evidence of the ideological closeness between the government and ISIS, which risks undermining the response of security forces, judiciary and other state organs toward the organization.

The government is politically accountable if ISIS actions do not stop in Turkey. Trying to cover this up with nonsense like “ISIS is the same as PKK and the Gülenists” only increases this accountability.

Source: Worldcrunch , August 30, 2016


Related News

President Gül dismisses calls to help tackle political turmoil

During a press conference held on Monday, the GYV, whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, stated that a hate crime is being carried out against the Hizmet movement in Turkey and called on President Gül to take the initiative to investigate the executive branch’s recent attempts to render the judiciary dysfunctional.

Faces of Manisa prisoners rendered unrecognizable due to torture, lawyer says

The faces of people held in a Manisa prison have become unrecognizable due to heavy torture, Seda Tanrıkulu, a lawyer representing some of the prisoners, told the Turkish media. “When I met with prisoners, there were bruises on the face of D.K., made by the boots of officials,” Tanrıkulu said.

PM Erdoğan: Internet bill protesters are defenders of immorality

Media outlets ran stories based on leaked voice recordings and the documents of a second probe, which has been stalled since Dec. 25, 2014, when the government started removing or reassigning thousands of police officers and police chiefs as well as the prosecutors carrying out the investigation. The press has since reported that the depths of corruption within the government is actually a lot bigger than initially assumed.

Turkey’s business world weary of gov’t pressure, says Kalkavan

The businessman Kalkavan said that the government’s way of dealing with the corruption allegations has been “incomprehensible,” and that he had difficulty explaining to his foreign associates about recent purges of hundreds of police officers and dozens of investigators.

Lawyers confirm: Turkish teachers are still in Kosovo

Lawyers representing six Turkish teachers who were arrested in Kosovo on Thursday, have released a written statement in which they confirmed that the teachers have not been deported to Turkey yet.

Teacher arrested after repairman found Gülen’s audio CD in computer

A Samsun teacher, identified as Osman K., was detained after a repairman found in his computer a CD that features speeches by Fethullah Gulen. The audio CD, titled Kalbin Miraci, featured faith-based sermons Gulen delivered at mosques in Turkey in the past.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

‘Pak Turk Businessmen Association actively working to enhance trade with Turkey’

U.S. Not Persuaded to Extradite Fethullah Gulen Over Turkey Coup

In controversial move Parliament votes to shut down prep schools

Gulen factor in Turkey’s turmoil

A Ramadan Birthday Dinner

Turkey removes evidence of torture, maltreatment in prisons ahead of ‘Committee for the Prevention of Torture’ visit

Deporting Turkish teachers – Why can’t we separate politics from education?

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News