Turkey, a hot spot for radical Islamists, admitted there are over 1,000 Turkish radicals in the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS or ISIL. It is another black eye for the NATO country after an IS fighter claimed that the country funds the terrorist group and the international community said Turkey does not do enough to secure its border with Syria.
First, we have seen some Takfiri groups attacking a mosque belonging to Shia Muslims. With ISIL making new advances, their sympathizers have become more visible in a bid to display their contentment with the developments. It was on July 31 when the Hürriyet Daily News reported about an Istanbul-based charity organization that had to suspend its activities after it was criticized for using an insignia adopted by the ISIL.
There were also allegations that the charity was recruiting terrorists for the insurgency in Syria and Iraq.
In separate news, Turkish media broadcast a few days ago pictures of hundreds of men with long beards in Taliban-style dress gathering for Eid al-Fitr somewhere in Istanbul. The group was allegedly linked with ISIL, and they dedicated their Eid al-Fitr prayers to ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Evidence has connected Turkey to IS since IS’s formation in March 2013: One IS fighter said the group owes everything to Turkey because the country showed “affection” and provides medical treatment for the fighters. Turkey backed the rebels against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and CNN featured the country’s secret jihadi route to Syria. IS captured Azaz, a city in Syria near Turkey’s border, which allowed easier access for the jihadists. The 16-year-old twins, Salma and Zahra Halane from Manchester, allegedly entered Syria through Turkey to join their older brother. IS expanded to Iraq and asked Turkey businesses to return to Iraq. Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci said the country will be involved when Iraq is rebuilt.
Additionally, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party have a well-developed reputation for anti-Semitism and anti-Israel policies. Erdogan consistently blasts Israel and accuses them of war crimes against Gaza. While there are no official connections between Gaza and IS, there are a few reports that IS cells are forming deep within Palestine. IS also promised Hamas that the group will help fight with them against the “barbaric Jews,” but IS needs to release Arab countries from the United States.