In its latest attack in Turkey, ISIS used a child suicide bomber to attack a wedding ceremony. More than 50 victims were killed, of whom 26 were less than 18 years old.
This is premeditated, officially-tolerated murder. Evidence? Two opposition parties 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 AKP Party, Erdogan’s powerful political machine.
The opposition claims SADAT International Defense Consultancy, which was established by soldiers dismissed from the military due to Islamist activities, offers ISIS operatives training in “intelligence, psychological warfare, sabotage, raiding, ambushing and assassination.” Erdogan this month appointed the owner of SADAT, retired Brigadier General Adnan Tanriverdi, as his chief presidential advisor.
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.
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.