Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reports that the government has officially confirmed that an Islamic State commander is receiving treatment for his battle wounds at the Pamukkale University Hospital.
The situation is a bit sticky for the Turkish government, as they have already taken heat for “allegedly turning a blind eye to foreign fighters crossing into Syria and Iraq from Turkey to join ISIL,” and displaying little enthusiasm for the multi-national effort against the terror state. There are lingering suspicions that elements within the Turkish government “are ideologically close to the terrorist group.”
Discovering that a Turkish citizen who threw in his lot with ISIS was able to come back across the border and seek treatment for his bomb wounds at a Turkish hospital will not dispel those suspicions. The commander, named in other sources as Emrah Cakan, is said to be one of about 1,000 Turks who have joined the Islamic State.
“Judicial procedures regarding his injury were carried out when he crossed into Turkey from Syria,” explained the statement from the Denizli Governor’s Office. “His treatment is still underway in Denizli in accordance with the right to receive medical attention, just like a normal citizen.”
The International Business Times finds the treatment of this ISIS officer, who it describes as “a Turkish-born militant who rose to become a senior commander of the Islamist group, helping to impose its barbaric regime on Kurdistan and northern Syria,” an outrageous contrast with the fate that befell Kurdish medical student Esra Yakar.
Yakar is described as a “hero of Kobani” because she traveled to that besieged city to provide medical treatment, and sustained serious wounds to her head and right eye during an ISIS attack. She went back to Turkey for treatment, but was bounced around between hospitals for so long that she lost her eye, and then, when she finally got checked into a hospital in Ankara, she was targeted by Turkish prosecutors, arrested, and thrown in prison on “terrorism” charges. She was released from prison just yesterday due to her health problems, but is still expected to stand trial on April 30.
“That a Kurdish doctor wounded by IS in Kobani was deprived of health services, and then arrested on spurious charges, while an IS commander is safely treated in hospital, is a manifestation of the injustice of the Turkish legal and political system against Kurdish people – and yet another damning indictment of the Turkish government,” writes Kurdish journalist Uzay Bulut for the International Business Times.
They also point out that the Turkish government has an awful lot of trouble keeping track of both Turkish and foreign jihadis flowing across its borders… and coming back into Turkey to commit future mayhem. Intelligence agenices have warned that some 3,000 Islamic State militants are believed to have set up terror cells in Turkey and are preparing for “armed and bomb attacks against the Ankara-based embassies and consulates of the countries that are members of the US-led coalition militarily intervening in Syria.”
“When the attack eventually happens, they’ll probably blame the Kurds for it,” Bulut ruefully predicts.