The Gatestone Institute
Originally published under the title “Turkey’s Official ‘Cocktail Terror’.”
On August 21, ISIS terrorists used a child suicide bomber to kill more than 50 people, mostly children, at a wedding in Gaziantep.
Failing to name Islamic terror has cost Turkey hundreds of lives and will likely cost it hundreds more, as the country’s leaders — and many others, especially in the West — are still too demure to call Islamic terror by its name. Without a realistic diagnosis, the chances of a successful treatment are always close to nil, and Turkey’s leaders stubbornly remain on the wrong side of the right diagnosis.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s theory that “there is no Islamic terror,” coupled with his persistent arguments that Islamist radicals hit Europe because of Islamophobia in the Western world, are not only too remote from reality but have now become a curse in his own country.
As early as 2014, cars began to be seen in the streets of Istanbul sporting the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The same year, Islamists opened a shop selling T-shirts featuring the same flag. ISIS-related magazines went ahead with open hate content even though, in March 2014, ISIS spilled its first blood in Turkey when an ISIS team ambushed a police checkpoint and killed one police officer, one soldier and one civilian.
Without a realistic diagnosis of Turkey’s Islamic terror problem, the chances of successful treatment are close to nil.
In its first suicide attack on June 5, 2015, ISIS targeted a pro-Kurdish rally in Diyarbakir, killed four people and injured 279. It targeted, once again, a pro-Kurdish gathering in July 2015 in Suruc, a small town bordering Syria, killed more than 30 people and injured more than 100.
When, in October 2015, Islamists attacked the main train station in Ankara and killed more than 100 civilians in the worst terror attack in Turkey’s history, Turkish officials were once again too demure to blame it on radical Islamists. Instead, they invented an unconvincing concept, “cocktail terror,” putting the blame on a mixture of various terror groups.
In a span of just one year, starting with the Suruc suicide bomb attack in July 2015, ISIS terror attacks in Turkish soil have killed 265 people and injured 1,256.
In its latest attack in Turkey on August 21, ISIS did something it had not done before: it used a child suicide bomber with explosives detonated by a remote controller. The target was a wedding ceremony in the southern city of Gaziantep; most of the victims were children, like the suicide bomber himself. More than 50 victims were killed, of whom 26 were less than 18 years old. Two of the victims had just turned four.
This is premeditated, officially-tolerated murder. Evidence? Between Aug. 14, 2014 and June 29, 2016, two opposition parties, the social democrat Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), appealed to parliament five times asking for a parliamentary investigation into ISIS and its activities in Turkey. All five requests were rejected by the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan’s powerful political machine. Why would a ruling party vote down an investigation request into a barbaric terror group that has killed hundreds of people in its own country? But there is more.
In July, slightly more than a month before the ISIS’s child bomber was blown up along with more than 50 others in Gaziantep, a court in the same city reduced the jail sentence of an ISIS militant due to “good conduct.” Good conduct?! The man did not even stand before the court, as the police were unable to apprehend him.
A security company owned by retired Brig. Gen. Adnan Tanriverdi (center) has been accused of providing “irregular warfare training” to “ISIS and its derivatives.”
At the end of June, the main opposition party, CHP, made a parliamentary inquiry into the activities of an Istanbul-based defense company accused of having links to ISIS. The opposition claims the SADAT International Defense Consultancy, established in the early 2000s by soldiers dismissed from the military due to Islamist activities, offers “irregular warfare training” in various fields including “intelligence, psychological warfare, sabotage, raiding, ambushing and assassination.” The inquiry said: “…that special commissioned and non-commissioned officers have begun working at this company with high salaries, and that in camps irregular warfare training has been given to ISIS and its derivatives.”
SADAT’s owner and chief official is retired Brigadier General Adnan Tanriverdi, widely known for his close relations with Erdogan and the AKP.
Since the opposition made the parliamentary inquiry, it has not heard from the government benches about its request for an investigation into SADAT. But, after the inquiry, the government made a move. In August Erdogan appointed Tanriverdi as his chief presidential advisor.
Turkey’s war with radical jihadists is a too demure and reluctant one — if not fake altogether.
Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist for the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.