Monday, 30 March, 2020

Columbia University Researchers Confirm Turkey’s Links to ISIS

A team of Columbia University researchers from the United States, Europe, and Turkey confirmed last week that the Turkish government has provided to ISIS: military cooperation, weapons, logistical support, financial assistance, and medical services. This detailed investigation was headed by David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He had served as Senior Advisor and Foreign Affairs Expert for the U.S. Department of State. Here are brief excerpts from the extensive research documenting the direct links between Turkey and ISIS:

1) Turkey Supplied Military Equipment to ISIS
• An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014: “Most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies.”
• Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), disclosed on Oct. 14, 2014, documents from the Adana Office of the Prosecutor, revealing that Turkey supplied weapons to terrorist groups. He also produced transcripts of interviews with truck drivers who delivered the weapons to the terrorists.
• According to CHP Vice President Bulent Tezcan, Turkish agents drove three trucks loaded with rockets, arms, and ammunition to ISIS in Syria, on January 19, 2014.
• Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Fuat Avni as stating that Germany and the United States had audio tapes confirming that Turkey provided financial and military aid to terrorist groups associated with Al Qaeda on Oct. 12, 2014.
• Documents made public on Sept. 27, 2014, revealed that Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan financed the transportation of arms to ISIS through Turkey.

2) Turkey Provided Logistical Assistance to ISIS Fighters
• According to a June 13, 2021 article in Radikal newspaper, Turkish Interior Minister Muammar Guler issued the following directive: “Hatay is a strategic location for the Mujahidin crossing from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly take place in Hatay.”
• The Daily Mail reported on August 25, 2021 that many foreign militants joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq after traveling through Turkey.
• Britain’s Sky News obtained documents showing that the Turkish government stamped passports of foreign militants seeking to cross the Turkish border into Syria to join ISIS.
• A senior Egyptian official indicated on Oct. 9, 2014 that Turkish intelligence is passing to ISIS satellite imagery and other data.

3) Turkey Trained ISIS Fighters
• CNN Turk reported on July 29, 2021 that in the heart of Istanbul, places like Duzce and Adapazari have become gathering spots for terrorists.
• Turks who joined an ISIS affiliate were shown on July 28, 2014, at a public gathering in Istanbul.
• A video showed an ISIS affiliate holding a prayer-gathering in Omerli, a district of Istanbul.
• According to Jordanian Intelligence, Turkey trained ISIS militants for special operations.

4) Turkey Extended Medical Care to ISIS Fighters
• An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014, “We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals.”
• On Oct. 12, 2014, Taraf newspaper reported that Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, a founder of Pres. Erdogan’s ruling party (AKP), divulged that Turkey supported terrorist groups and still supports them and treats them in its hospitals.

5) Turkey Supported ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil
• On Sept. 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure Turkey to crack down on the extensive network of oil sold by ISIS.
• Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on Sept. 13, 2014 about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to Turkey.

6) Turkey Assisted ISIS Recruitment
• Kiliçdaroğlu announced on Oct. 14, 2014 that ISIS offices in Istanbul and Gaziantep are recruiting fighters. On Oct. 10, 2014, the Mufti of Konya stated that 100 men from his city had joined ISIS four days ago.
• OdaTV reported that Takva Haber served as a propaganda outlet for ISIS to recruit Turkish-speaking men in Turkey and Germany.

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