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Complexities
Talking Turkey

How the intricacies of U.S.-Turkish relations may figure into the meek nature of the U.S. air campaign against ISIS.

Published on: October 8, 2014
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  • Jojo Jobxyzone

    Well here’s another explanation
    Assume there is a tacit agreement between IS and Turkey – “don’t hurt us and we will not hurt you”
    That would explain why:
    1. Turkey allows the international IS volunteers to freely cross the border to Iraq and Syria (see what happens when they want to stop the flow in the case of Kurdish volunteers who want to cross the same border)
    2. Turkey allows contraband oil flow the other direction to finance IS
    3. Turkey does not aid Turkemans, Yazidis, or moderate Sunnis either – not just Kurds
    And in return
    1. The Turkish hostages were nicely treated and then freed
    2. No IS terrorism inside Turkey – even though beheading some beer drinking immodestly clad western tourists on the Turkish riviera must be a very exuberating thought in the minds of many IS sympathizers inside Turkey.

    • Kevin

      Maybe, but is IS disciplined enough to restrain their lower level hotheads from carrying out such actions?

      • Jojo Jobxyzone

        Not always – but you can see some of the goings on if you read the stories told by the Turkish truck drivers who were taken hostage. They tell of being kidnapped by a local guy, who called his superior who then berated him. Subsequently the hostages were treated much more kindly.

        • Section 9

          You can see how this will backfire once Turkey’s errant client starts to actually act out its delusional quest to build a Transnational Caliphate.

          Oh, wait…

    • John Tyler

      I think you hit the nail on the head. ISIS is receiving support, directly or indirectly from somewhere.
      My guess is that Turkey is just one of them .
      Turkey, Qatar, Saudi – ALL. the sunnis in the mideast know that the real enemy is shia IRAN.
      If ISIS is allowed to gain control of much of Syria and Iraq, this would present a real threat to Iran’s plans to become the dominant player in the region; this is especially important because Iran WILL have nuclear weapons soon, and the shia Persians are not to fond of sunni Arabs or Turks.

      Let Israel, ISIS, Iran duke it out with each other. Meanwhile the sunnis – Turkey, Qatar, Saudi, etc., – just have to stay quiet, alert and vigilant to thwart the spread of ISIS fanaticism into their own nations.

      As long as ISIS confines its “business” to Iraq and Syria – no matter how many are killed- the big sunni nations will not get involved.
      If the USA gets involved in a big way, the biggest winner will be Iran.
      There may be a “moderate” Syrian group, but let’s be clear; for every “moderate”, there are 100,000 syrian pro-sharia, pro-jihadist , wannabe knife wielding be-headers.

      The USA should help the Kurds ( much to the dismay of the Turks) and the Christians; that’s it.

  • Arkeygeezer

    The plain fact is that there is no middle eastern country willing to commit ground troops to Iraq or Syria to fight the Islamic State. All of them will be happy to commit token forces if the U.S. commits ground troops, but not otherwise.

    The U.S. does not need to commit ground forces to either Iraq and Syria. The current limited air campaign is sufficient to salve the chicken hawks that want war, but will not defeat the Islamic State.

    I believe that this situation reflects the will of the American people.

    • Section 9

      You are correct, sir.

      “Let’s you and him fight!”

  • jeburke

    Amid a fresh batch of reports to the effect that ISIS is in Abu Graib and threatens Baghdad, I’m reminded of Garfinkle’s comment a while back that he would not be surprised to see a smallish force of Sunni desert warriors drive against a much larger bunch of Shiite villagers all the way to Baghdad. Want to add to that now, Adam?

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