WASHINGTON – The release by ISIS of 49 Turkish diplomats under mysterious circumstances raises further concern that Ankara’s cooperation with the jihadist army could be part of a quiet plan to re-establish the Ottoman Empire, according to some Middle East experts, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Ankara already has allowed ISIS jihadist fighters to enter Syria, launder millions of dollars a day and sell oil taken from occupied Iraq.
Turkey said that through “diplomacy” and “negotiation” it was able to obtain the release of diplomats captured when ISIS took over Mosul last June. While Ankara initially denied that it paid any ransom or exchanged any prisoners for the diplomats, ISIS now claims Turkey has released 180 of its fighters, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Ankara had used the hostage issue as a reason to deny a U.S. request either to get directly involved in attacking ISIS positions in Syria or to allow the U.S. to use Incirlik Air Base to launch attacks.
With its main excuse removed, some Middle East experts believe Sunni Turkey’s ulterior motive is to quietly work with the Sunni ISIS to reestablish the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey recently encouraged its businesses to invest in ISIS-occupied Iraq.
Energy-hungry Turkey continues to buy oil from ISIS produced from captured Iraqi oil wells for less than half of market value. Much of the ISIS oil goes to Turkish companies, providing ISIS with some $3 million a day to help fund its expansionist activities.
Turkey’s minister of economy, Nihat Zeybekci, is encouraging Turkish businesses to invest in ISIS-occupied portions of Iraq, and ISIS has openly extended invitations to Turkish businesses.
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“Our exports to Iraq are now down to 35 percent, but Iraq cannot easily substitute other sources,” Neybekci said. “We think there will be a boom in demand soon. We also know that [ISIS] is contacting individual Turkish businessmen and telling them, ‘Come back, we won’t interfere.’ That is not easy, of course. But when the future Iraq is rebuilt, it will be Turkey doing it.”
‘Spirit of the Seljuks’
Middle East expert Nawaf Qadimi has provided further evidence of the subtle cooperation between Turkey and ISIS.
“We have witnessed the severity of the [ISIS] organization in demolishing all the shrines, temples and tombs, even those that are attributed to the prophets and the companions, as being a manifestation of shirk (polytheism), as said by them,” Qadimi said.
“However, when it comes to the shrine of the grandfather of the Turkish Ottomans, Suleiman Pasha, inside Syria and in the areas under [ISIS] control, not only did [ISIS] refrain from destroying it but facilitated the entry of Turkish troops to such shrines and protected them,” he said. “The ISIS forces are to date protecting it and did not destroy it.”
Further underscoring Turkey’s quest to reestablish the Ottoman Empire, which dissolved after some 500 years after the end of World War I, Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan, a devout Muslim, made a telling comment in July 2012 before an audience of his Justice and Development Party.
Erdogan, who at that time was prime minister, made the statement to justify efforts to overthrow the government of Shiite-Alawite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and openly allow jihadist fighters to use Turkey to train and to stage attacks in Syria.
“The Justice and Development Party is a party in which the spirit of the Seljuks and the Ottomans is deeply rooted,” Erdogan said.
He regards the Turkish people as the Seljuks, remnants of the Ottoman Empire.
Historically, the Seljuk state was a medieval Turko-Persian empire extending from eastern Anatolia – the old name for Turkey – and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf into the Khorasan area.
An affiliate of al-Qaida, called Khorasan, is seeking to influence the area.
The Khorasan al-Qaida affiliate is led by Muhsin al-Fadhli, 33, who has been known to the U.S. for some time. It is comprised of other senior al-Qaida operatives who seek to conduct attacks on the U.S. and its allies. Located in Pakistan, they also have fighters in Syria and are closely linked with the al-Qaida affiliate there, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is often at odds with ISIS.
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