President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been using Daesh to advance his Middle East policy and suppress the Kurds, and Ankara’s elite maintains vibrant economic ties with the terror group and harbors its militants, a Turkish MP has told Russian media.
“Erdogan uses Daesh against the Kurds. He can’t send the Turkish Army directly to Syrian Kurdistan, but he can use Daesh as an instrument against the Kurds. He has a greater Ottoman Empire in his mind, that’s his dream, while Daesh is one of the instruments [to achieve it],” Selma Irmak, a Turkish MP from the Peace and Democracy Party told RIA Novosti on Monday.
There are many signs that the Turkish leadership is aiding Daesh and benefiting from it, Irmak argued.
“Wounded militants are given medical treatment in Turkey. For Desh, Turkey is a very important supply channel. They are allowed to pass through the Turkish border, being given IDs [and other documents],” she added.
“Daesh has training camps in Turkey,” Irmak stressed, citing other examples of Turkey providing Daesh with certain capabilities, including the fact that all militants go back and forth into Syria through Turkish territory.
Both the Turkish elite and the terrorist group enjoy economic ties as well, Irmak argued.
“ISIS’ oil is sold via Turkey. All of Daesh’ external [trade] operations are being carried out via Turkey and involve not only oil.” Part of the terrorist group’s criminal business trafficking hostages as well as female slaves of Yazidi and Assyrian minorities, while “the government is, of course, well aware of it,” she added.
More proof could be the absence of any violence between the Turkish military and Daesh militants.
“Daesh never attacked Turkish positions and claimed no responsibility for terror attacks in Turkey’s cities. There were three large terror attacks [in 2015] in Diyarbakir, Suruc and Ankara. Each attack caused harm to the Kurds and opposition activists supporting them,” the MP noted.
Turkey only intervened when the Kurds retook territory from the Daesh-held Kurdish city of Tell Abyad in northern Syria.
“Turkish warplanes formally bombarded the Daesh-held territory and conducted two airstrikes to show it fights Daesh. And in the meantime, Turkey made 65 airstrikes on Qandil [the PKK stronghold in mountainous northern Iraq].”
According to Irmak, Ankara feels free to take on the Kurds because the West is unwilling to harm its interests in the region and beyond.
“Unfortunately, the international community is indifferent towards these events. Turkey has taken Europe prisoner by using Middle Eastern refugees as an instrument of blackmail. The US keeps silent too, having common interests with Turkey. For instance, the US wants to keep using the Incirlik airbase […] and the Turkish Army is emboldened by such impunity.”