Sunday, August 2, 2015

Allegations Turkish Authorities refuse to act against ISIL recruiting offices inside the country.

Allegations Turkish Authorities refuse to act against ISIL recruiting offices inside the country. (TZ).

While Turkish authorities carried out an unexpected nationwide crackdown on networks and cells of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the stories of families whose loved ones are fighting among the ranks of ISIL in Syria reveal the reach of the group in Turkey, highlighting the arduous task Turkish officials are facing to combat the group's reach.

Families who are aware that their relatives have become members of this terrorist organization have told Sunday's Zaman that the government's turning of a blind eye allowed ISIL to slowly but steadily obtain a growing reach as their sons, brothers and other relatives slipped through the border to join the group.

Failing to make his voice heard by police, a father in the southern province of Hatay even abducted a leading ISIL figure in Turkey in exchange for his 13-year-old son.

Affected by friends, A. A., a promising student in secondary school, joined the radical group in Syria in 2013. Shocked by his son's decision, I. A. sought help from the Turkish police to no avail as they had no right to operate in a foreign country. He, however, did not give up and captured an ISIL militant as a bargaining tool for his son. In a riveting tale, he said his son was delivered to him on the border in return for the militant.

What most disturbed the father was to see the change in his son who only years before had come tenth in Hatay province on a national exam but now refused to continue his schooling because he saw it as a sin. "He was brainwashed by ISIL's indoctrination and propaganda.

This child whose ambition was to one day be the chief of the General Staff now views the killing of a police officer or soldier as legitimate," lamented I. A. "I know the frontier very well. Frankly speaking, the frontier vanished, totally disappeared with endless border-crossings.

In Antakya, ISIL and other groups have offices. I locate the offices after an easy search and submit the information to the police but they refuse to intervene to dismantle these networks.
When I ask why, they remain silent and say there is an order not to interfere with those offices," claimed the father, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
However, one theme among the stories told by such families stands out as a common characteristic that provides a cogent explanation as to why ISIL is so deeply entrenched in southern and southeastern Turkey: that the authorities ignore the lure of the group among youth and the delayed action against ISIL cells despite the intelligence being provided by locals.

Noting that ISIL networks sprang up in the southern and southeastern provinces of Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Adana, B. Y. said he went to the police to share information about the ISIL offices in Gaziantep.

"I gave their addresses, names, associations. I told them everything. They even built their own mosques, issuing fatwahs [religious instructions]. These associations are still in place and open," he said, expressing disappointment over the Turkish state's inaction. Hmmmm....The Turks ublish how many 'ISIS' members they arrest, but not how many they released shortly afterwards. Read the full story here.

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