Archiv der Kategorie 'Türkische faschismus / Turkish fascism '

The ISIS Ambassador to Turkey

In the complicated relationship between the government of Turkey and ISIS, it’s unclear how much of the relationship was direct and formal, as opposed to support coming from private individuals and entities in Turkey, or in response to the vast amounts of money ISIS had to spend on a network it deployed inside Turkey to receive and funnel foreign fighters, weapons, and medical supplies into its huge state apparatus. In any case, it’s clear that every state needs diplomats to negotiate political deals with the countries near its borders. ISIS, it seems, was no exception to this rule, as ICSVE researchers learned in a February 2019 five-hour interview with an ISIS emir, Abu Mansour al Maghrebi, who claims he essentially served as the ISIS ambassador to Turkey.

“My job in Raqqa was dealing with the international cases,” Abu Mansour al Maghrebi recalls of his three years serving ISIS. “My issue [duties] was our [Islamic State’s] relationship with Turkish intelligence. Actually, this started when I was working at the borders,” he explains, harking back to the first job he undertook for ISIS before becoming an ISIS emir and, seemingly, their ambassador to Turkey.

Abu Mansour, an electrical engineer from Morocco, came to Syria in 2013. Like many foreign fighters we interviewed, he stated he came hoping to unshackle Muslims from dictatorial regimes and build an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Islamic ideals. He traveled from Casablanca, Morocco, to Istanbul, Turkey, and through the southern border of Turkey into Syria. His first stop was Idlib, Syria, just as hostilities between al Nusra and ISIS had begun. Abu Mansour ended up on the ISIS side of that rift and was assigned by ISIS the job of an intake official on the Syrian side of the Turkish border. His job was to receive the steady flow of foreign fighters streaming into ISIS via Turkey – many who shared his same dream.

“My job was to direct operatives to receive the foreign fighters in Turkey,” Abu Mansour explains, referring to the network of ISIS-paid people who facilitated foreign fighter travel from Istanbul to the Turkish border towns of Gaziantep, Antakya, Sanliurfa, etc. “Most of them were paid by Dawlah [ISIS],” Abu Mansour explains, but differentiates them from ISIS members, due to their non-ideological motivations. “Most of those working on the Turkish side, their goal is money,” he said. Although when asked about ISIS networks inside Turkey, he also admits, “Many in Turkey believe and give their bayat [oath of allegiance] to Dawlah. There are ISIS guys living in Turkey, individuals and groups, but no armed groups inside Turkey.”

In addressing the foreign fighters, Abu Mansour explains: “[They came from] different places, from North Africa mostly. The numbers of Europeans was not a big number, 4,000 total.”

“Tunis 13,000, 4,000 from Morocco. There were less fighters from Libya because they had a front there [in Libya], fighting less than 1,000. I’m just talking about up to 2015,” he adds. Not surprisingly, his figures confirm data collected on the origins and numbers of foreign fighters who joined ISIS – that the most came from Tunisia. It was interesting how he can rattle off the numbers.

“So, you were more than a simple clerk working in the ISIS reception center registering new recruits?” I ask, suspecting he was much more important than that, given his grip on ISIS statistics.

“[My job was] guarding the borders between Syria and Turkey and to receive the fighters,” Abu Mansour explains, smiling at being recognized as more powerful than he was originally conveying. “I oversaw reception at Tal Abyad, Aleppo, Idlib, all their borders,” he answers.

It’s clear he was in charge, so I ask him, “So, you were an ISIS emir?”

“Yes,” he admits, seemingly happy to be “caught out” and recognized for who he really was. “At the beginning I was registering people, then I became the supervisor. I was the emir.”

The ISIS Foreign Fighters

We discuss the women who came into Syria via Turkey. “The single females, they go directly to Raqqa to the centers for singles. Married women go to their husbands,” he explains. He states that those wives [couples] stay in the ISIS female guesthouses: “Since they are family, they are offered a place to live until their husbands finish trainings.” He is referring to the ISIS military and weapons training and the ISIS “obligatory shariah training” in which new male recruits are taught the ISIS takfir ideology, an ideology that justifies use of violence against those considered heretics or unbelievers, including against fellow Muslims.

Abu Mansour explains the format and nature of intake forms that were filled out at the ISIS reception area. “It was a form about experience, countries you visited, etc. I don’t remember it very well, but it was very detailed,” he explains. He further continues, “There were several people who came with higher education. We wrote his discipline, his studies, his languages. These things were recorded on my forms.” According to Abu Mansour, job placements occurred after another intake took place inside the training camps. “At those places, there were very trusted people running the ISIS offices of recruiting, so if you say you’re an engineer, they put you to that kind of job. It was an office of human resources management,” he states, adding, “but of course different, because in ours we also had, ‘I want to be a martyr.’”

Martyrs and Those Returning to Become Sleeper Cells

Asked to explain what happens to those who came saying they wanted to “martyr” themselves, he answers, “There are specific centers interested in these things.

Before 2014 and 2015, a high number of them were willing to martyr themselves.” Abu Mansour explains that those who came to die for the Islamic Caliphate were more plentiful in the beginning. “Approximately 5,000 came to be martyrs. I didn’t send them to the center,” he states, referring to where the would-be suicide cadres were isolated and encouraged on their death missions. He further continues, “I only record him and send them to the training camp. Then there is a center in Raqqa. There is a central management who control who is assigned where. That was not my job.”

According to Abu Mansour, the numbers of would-be “martyrs” went down as the Caliphate was in fact established. “It started to go down as Raqqa stabilized. [Then,] most came simply to live. It was a small ratio of those who came to martyr themselves.” Adhering to his uncanny ability to remember exact recruiting figures, he explains, “Before 2014, 50 percent came to martyr themselves. Then it went under 20 percent.”

“During 2014 and 2015, we had approximately 35,000 [foreign fighters who] entered,” Abu Mansour recounts. “After that I don’t know, but the numbers declined each year,” he continues. His numbers match those of experts who estimate at least 40,000 foreign fighters went to Syria, most ending up in ISIS.

Concerning those who were invited by the ISIS emni to train and return to their home countries to attack, as was revealed by Harry Sarfo, an ISIS returnee incarcerated in Germany, and an ISIS smuggler speaking to ICSVE in February, who detailed some of those operations, Abu Mansour explains, “We are the point of reception. It was not our job to ask if they will return to attack. That was Raqqa’s job.”

Although he confirms that it did happen. “There were some who invited others to go back home and attack, but it was not our job; we were reception,” Abu Mansour repeats. “It exists, but not all the people who returned home [are sleeper cells]. Many simply quit the job. Many people didn’t like the situation and left,” he clarifies, putting some myth to the statements made by some that a large portion of the ISIS returnees in Europe may be part of sleeper cells. “There was a central management in Aleppo and in Raqqa,” Abu Mansour states, adding, “I turned the passports to them. They were archived.”

Becoming an ISIS Ambassador

“I went to Raqqa after the coalition assault against the border,” Abu Mansour recalls. “Eastern Syria got stability in Raqqa, etc.” This was in 2015 and 2016. When we ask Abu Mansour if injured ISIS fighters were allowed to cross the border and receive medical care in Turkey, things suddenly take another twist, as we realize that Abu Mansour was not only an emir, but an ISIS diplomat.

“There were some agreements and understandings between the Turkish intelligence and ISIS emni about the border gates, for the people who got injured,” Abu Mansour continues. “I had direct meeting with the MIT [the Turkish National Intelligence Organization], many meetings with them.”

When we ask who exactly in the Turkish government was meeting ISIS members, he states, “There were teams. Some represent the Turkish intel, some represent the Turkish Army. There were teams from 3-5 different groups. Most meetings were in Turkey in military posts or their offices. It depended on the issue. Sometimes we meet each week. It depends on what was going on. Most of the meetings were close to the borders, some in Ankara, some in Gaziantep.”

When he mentions meeting Turkish government officials in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, we suddenly upgrade him in our minds to an ISIS ambassador, which is indeed how he was functioning. “I passed the borders and they let me pass. [At the border,] the Turks always sent me a car and I’m protected. A team of two to three people from our side were with me. I was in charge of our team most of the time.”

Abu Mansour, it seems, was meeting high-level officials in all the security branches of the government, negotiating deals. “The subject of common benefits is a big subject,” Abu Mansour states, adding, “It’s a new thing when you create a state and separate it from the outside world. The negotiations were not easy. It took a long time. Sometimes it was hard.”

“I am not the big guy you are talking about,” says Abu Mansour, demurring at the idea that he was an ambassador of sorts. He stated ambassador is not a term they would have used in the Islamic State. Yet, as he continues, we learn that his “diplomatic” reach on behalf of ISIS extended even to the president of Turkey himself. “I was about to meet him but I did not. One of his intelligence officers said Erdogan wants to see you privately but it didn’t happen.”

Abu Mansour explains, “I got my orders from the representative of the Majlis al Shura, from Mohamed Hodoud, an Iraqi. The individuals of the [ISIS] shura have the highest authority; they create a negotiation committee, and delegates.” In regard to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, Abu Mansour admits, “I saw him for a short while,” which is more than most ISIS members can say of the elusive leader who hid himself from almost everyone we have managed to interview (n=141 ISIS cadres).

The Islamic State’s Usefulness for Turkey

We ask if this was a funding relationship. “There was no changing money between us,” Abu Mansour answers, and agrees it was a coordinating function – diplomacy where “both sides benefit.” The benefit to Turkey, according to Abu Mansour, was that “we are in the border area and Turkey wants to control its borders – to control Northern Syria. Actually they had ambitions not only for controlling the Kurds. They wanted all the north, from Kessab (the most northern point of Syria) to Mosul.”

“This is the Islamists’ ideology of Erdogan,” Abu Mansour explains, adding, “They wanted all of the north of Syria. That is what the Turkish side said [they wanted], to control the north of Syria, because they have their real ambitions. Actually, we talked about what Erdogan said in public [versus what he really desired.] This part of Syria is part of the Ottoman states. Before the agreement following the Second World War, Aleppo and Mosul were part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The agreement Sykes Picot [in which they lost these regions] was signed for one hundred years. In our meetings, we talked about re-establishing the Ottoman Empire. This was the vision of Turkey.”

Abu Mansour makes it clear that what he was told in his meetings with Turks was put forward as President Erdogan’s vision, but that it was not necessarily shared by all: “I cannot say that this is the vision of the whole Turkish government. Many are against interfering to bring this project to reality. They say we will try to defeat the PKK and Kurds. We are afraid of the union between Kurds and that they may make a Kurdish state, but they also expanded to Aleppo,” he adds regarding Turkish aspirations inside Syria.

Abu Mansour continues, “Since they are a NATO state they cannot make NATO angry against them. So, they cannot deal directly with the situation, but they want to destroy the Kurdish ummah, so they deal with the situation [via ISIS] and get benefits from the Islamic State.”

On the side of ISIS, he explains, “It’s a big benefit to Dawlah, as they could protect our back. Approximately 300 km of our border is with them. Turkey is considered a road for us for medications, food – so many things enter in the name of aid. The gates were open.”

However, on the subject of getting arms from Turkey, Abu Mansour clears the Turks of any guilt, stating, “No one can accuse the Turkish government that they gave us weapons, because we got weapons from different sources. Actually, we didn’t need to get weapons from Turkey,” he explains, noting that the Free Syrian Army soldiers would trade their weapons for a pack of cigarettes. “Anti-government Syrian people provided us with weapons; many mafias and groups traded weapons to us.”

“In Syria the oil was enough to pay for the weapons and everything needed,” Abu Mansour continues. “[Our oil revenues] were more than $14 million per month and half of this oil money is more than enough to pay for everything needed for our weapons expenditures.” When I remark on the huge amount of $7 million per month for weapons, Abu Mansour states, “It’s actually a small amount. Turkey sometimes opened an operation in which the management for one battle is $10 million.” When pressed for more figures on the total ISIS budget, Abu Mansour says he’s been in captivity for 1.5 years and doesn’t remember the total ISIS budget anymore. Yet it sounds like he once knew it well and in detail.

Negotiating for Crossing the Turkish Borders

“We negotiated to send our fighters to the hospitals [in Turkey]. There was facilitation – they didn’t look at the passports of those coming for treatment. It was always an open gate. If we had an ambulance we could cross without question. We could cross [into Turkey] at many places. They don’t ask about official identities. We just have to let them know.”

When asked to explain exactly how this occurs, Abu Mansour explains, “When the person gets injured, there is hospital in Syria, and this hospital sends him in a car to the border. There were ambulances on the Turkish side waiting for this person. There were doctors who disliked Bashar. They treated our guys. The MIT was made aware of every critical situation and they sent the ambulances to the border. There were also hospitals close to the border. Those who received critical care were treated there and they [the MIT] sent the others all over Turkey depending on their needs. There were very interested doctors, Syrian and Turkish, who wanted to help. So, if there were not facilities to serve them on the border, they would be sent further into Turkey for this.”

We ask who paid the medical bills. “Dawlah [ISIS] paid for the treatments, but some Turkish public hospitals took these fighters for free. It was not only for our fighters but also for the victims of bombings. I don’t know how many were treated in Turkey, but it was routine,” Abu Mansour explains, adding that it was not his area, so he doesn’t have the figures on that. “I just know this agreement to open the gates for our wounded and that there were ambulances sent for them. It was a ‘state-to-state’ agreement regarding our wounded. I negotiated these agreements. For the wounded, medical and other supplies to pass, and I negotiated about water also, the Euphrates.”

Negotiating for Water

The water issue was crucial for ISIS, actually, allowing them to have water for farming and to generate electricity through dams. “Actually, we [Syria] had an agreement with Turkey for 400 cubic meters per second [of water] into Syria. After the revolution, they started to decrease the quantity of water to 150 cubic meters per second. After our negotiations [in 2014] it returned to 400. We needed it for electrical power and as a vital source of living. Even water we cannot keep it, it passes to Iraq also,” he explains. “But the importance of water [cannot be understated]. We don’t need to generate electricity through the dams. We could have another source [i.e. petrol], but we need water for farming. There are three dams. The biggest is Tabqa dam. Actually, at 150 cubic meters, we could generate some electricity, but if the level of the lake reached 5 meters it would not work.”

“It took a long time to negotiate,” Abu Mansour explains. When asked what ISIS gave in return for water, he answers, “There is the most important benefit – their country will be safe and stable.” We ask if he means that ISIS agreed not to attack inside Turkey.

“In negotiations I could not say I would attack Turkey. This is the language of gangs, but I would say we will try to keep Turkey from the field battle, we will not see Turkey as an enemy. They understood what we are talking about. We said many times, ‘You are not our enemy and not our friend.’”

Abu Mansour explains that ISIS dealt both with Turkey and Assad’s regime to manage the Tabqa dam as well as other resources under their control. “At the end when Raqqa was encircled, the coalition forces tried to control the rooms for the dam. There was no control. All the gates were closed and the level of water rose. Rumors were that it would burst, but this was not technically true.” To fix the issue ISIS sent for Assad’s engineers to try to manually open the gates. “About these engineers, this is a company that belongs to the Assad regime. When he tried to fix the gate and open it manually, he was hit by the coalition forces. He died in Raqqa.”

Oil Sales

Regarding the sale of ISIS oil, Abu Mansour admits, “Most of the Syrian oil was going to Turkey, and just small amounts went to the Bashar regime.” Abu Mansour claims he did not need to negotiate these sales directly with the Turkish government officials as “this happened spontaneously.”

“There are many traders to do that and Turkey was the only market in which to send oil. Their traders paid for the oil that went into Turkey,” he explains making clear that although Erdogan’s son is believed to have been enriched by ISIS oil, that the deals occurred via middle men. “Oil that went to the Syrian government – some went by pipes, some by trucks. Oil sent by Dawlah [ISIS] to Turkey was arranged by traders from Turkey who came to take the oil with our permissions. Traders came from the Syrian side also.”

Negotiating for the Release of Turkish Diplomats, Soldiers and Citizens

When asked about the negotiations for the release of the Turkish diplomats and workers after ISIS took Mosul, Abu Mansour explains, “The negotiation happened in Syria. Actually, [ISIS] entry in Mosul was not a surprise takeover in one day. It took many days, but I think the Turkish government told their consul not to leave Mosul. Many Turkish truck drivers were also in Mosul at that time. They were not in danger, but there was a negotiation to release them. Islamic State made demands as well. It took time.”

“We didn’t ask ransom for the consul employees, we asked for our prisoners. MIT knows their names.” For the consul employees, “approximately 500 prisoners were released from Turkey, and they came back to Dawlah,” Abu Mansour explains.

In regard to the soldiers guarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah that Turkish soldiers had permission to guard inside Syria, which was taken by ISIS in 2014, Abu Mansour states, “It wasn’t liberation of their soldiers. They had 45 guards that they changed every 6 months. They changed at the time of FSA [being defeated]. Turkey made it look like they got liberated [when ISIS took over] but it was really just the change of guards. [Likewise,] at that time we didn’t want to open problems with Turkey. It would have been an obstacle to our work, so we gave them back.”

Turkey’s Double Game with the West

According to Abu Mansour, in 2014 Turkey was trying to play a double game with the West: to allow foreign fighters into Syria but make it appear as though they were taking measures to prevent it. “Turkey wanted to make it easy for foreign fighters to cross the borders,” Abu Mansour explains. “They just want to control, they need to be known, and how they enter, so they ask me to tell who has entered and where. Actually, the Turkish side said, ‘You should reduce, change the way you do it, the way you cross. For example, don’t come with a group to enter because it’s clear that a bunch of people entered. Enter only specific gates. Come without any weapons. Don’t come with long beards. Your entry from north to south should be hidden as much as possible.’”

“For example, the EU guys were very distinguished with their beards so they should come at night and cross, and they should not come in groups as before, to hide it. For Europeans, it depends on the person. If he can mix with Syrians he can come without being noticed – the Arabs, they can enter normally.” We didn’t ask Abu Mansour if the European Arabs were given fake Syrian passports to enter, but we did learn from other ISIS members we have interviewed that fake Syrian passports were provided by ISIS operatives to Europeans and others while still in Istanbul. Likely, these are the persons Abu Mansour is saying could enter normally through the border gates as they could easily pass for legitimate entries from Syria into Turkey by appearance and documentation.

“[In 2014,] they opened some legal gates under the eye of Turkish intel that our people went in and out through,” Abu Mansour explains. “But, entry into Syria was easier than return to Turkey. Turkey controlled the movements.”

For those who could not pass as Syrians legally crossing into Syria, Abu Mansour explains that they used “specific ways provided by smugglers” and that “of course Dawlah pays them.” He also notes that when smugglers worked for years, “of course they are recruited to [Turkish] security services, too.” Yet these persons were never completely trusted by ISIS as they were in it for the money only. “The smuggler is like a trader, a guy with a taxi – you pay him, but you don’t trust him. He isn’t necessarily loyal, [he has] maybe some sympathy to the Syrian side.”

An ISIS Ambassador in Ankara

“Our negotiations took place one time in Syria, second time in Turkey and so on, [back and forth],” Abu Mansour explains, and most often “near the borders, close to the official gates.” However, in 2016, Abu Mansour was asked to present himself in Ankara and stay for a few weeks. “They asked us to stay for a while in Turkey, perhaps to meet with President Erdogan. At this time in 2016, before the military assault on Manbij between June to September 2016 (May to August 2016), Turkey was trying to withdraw from the Islamic State. I went to stay in Ankara.”

Suddenly terrified at the idea that we could have been at the same hotel in Ankara during one of my many visits there, I ask him with horror filling my voice where he stayed. “There was a private guest hotel, an intelligence guest house. I think I was in the specific place of their headquarters office, or maybe it’s a crisis cell. I stayed one week.” Still fixated on the chance that I could have unknowingly crossed paths with an ISIS emissary in Turkey, I ask if he went out on the town during the days or at night. “They do not refuse if I ask to go out. I was under their protection. They also suggested if I want to take one week for rest here that I could.” Indeed, we could have crossed paths…

Negotiating a Buffer Zone

“There were ups and downs with Turkey,” Abu Mansour states. Likewise, there were factions inside ISIS that didn’t agree with one another. “After the Manbij events there were many changes and there was always internal conflict in the Islamic State. Turkey asked us many times for a separate area between Turkey and Syria for a safe zone. They wanted 10 km for Syrians to live but under control of Turkey.”

It’s interesting to note that even ISIS was considered a danger to the Turks, as they now claim the Syrian Kurds are. “Turkey wanted us to move 10 km back from the borders so the danger from Turkey is removed. They wanted it to be under control of Turkey and no aviation above it. This was for an area 60 km long and 10 km wide.”

ISIS Attacks in Turkey

We ask him how things went wrong with Turkey – that ISIS began attacking at the airport and at the Reina nightclub and on the streets in Ankara and Istanbul. “The operation of bombing in Turkey was not political. I was in Turkey and they thought I have a link with these things. I was in Gaziantep when the [Istanbul] airport was attacked,” he replied. “When those things happened, they thought it was something prepared from the political side of the Islamic State, but that’s not logical. We are there and attacking them?”

“It was directed from Raqqa,” Abu Mansour explains. “The ISIS external emni ordered it. And I think that there were Turkish MIT guys inside the external emni. I suspected that the striking at the airport was not for the benefit of IS, but Turkish groups of IS who wanted to strike Turkey, or they were affected by other agencies that don’t want a relationship between Dawlah and Turkey. It makes no sense, otherwise, because most of our people came through that airport. These orders for these attacks in Turkey were from those MIT guys inside Dawlah but not from our political side. They didn’t want to destroy Erdogan, just change his road in the matter of the Syrian issue. They wanted him to use his army to attack Syria, and to attack Dawlah. The airport attack makes a good excuse for him to come into Syria.”

“It’s not a conspiracy theory,” Abu Mansour insists, telling us that when he was imprisoned in YPG prisons, before being moved to Iraq, he heard “that the Turkish government, after they were in Raqqa, took 40 persons out that were part of Turkish security agencies.”

While what he heard could be true, it doesn’t mean that these Turkish intel actors were working with ISIS. They may have been Turkish intel planted inside the organization to keep tabs on it. Yet, Abu Mansour insists that Turkey, and President Erdogan with his “Islamists’ aspirations” was working hand in glove with ISIS and reminds us, “If you go back to Erdogan’s history, in 83 to 87, he was a fighter in Afghanistan. This stuck with him.”

Dashed Dreams of an Islamic State

Abu Mansour’s journey started in Morocco when he was a young man and where he first watched the 9/11 events from afar and suddenly began to feel that if he wasn’t with them, as U.S. President Bush stated, he was against them – that Muslims in the world needed to unite and resist dictators and world powers, like the U.S.-led coalition that invaded foreign countries. “After I heard George Bush say it’s you are with us or against us – when I heard that [and saw his invasion of Iraq] I searched for who stands up for the Muslims.”

Abu Mansour began following the actions of leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and learning militant jihadi teachings over the Internet. “The invasion of Iraq affected deeply in the heart of Muslims more than Afghanistan,” he explains. “We start to build ourselves at that time. We know that we are fighting very smart people and we have to prepare very well. Those groups who chose the resistance [in Morocco] would start and then they were captured, which made me to be very alert, and very patient to chose when to resist.”

Abu Mansour waited until 2013, when he became convinced that the time was right and an Islamic State could be created in Syria, at which time he was already fully committed to come and help bring it to fruition. “We were searching for the identity of Muslims, to protect Muslims and to be freed to do our Islamic duties. There was no desire to fight, no tendency to kill or revenge, just to free ourselves from dictators. I use the weapon to prevent harm by others and all that is taken by force should be regained by force,” he explains. “All these government regimes, we were forced to follow, we didn’t chose them.” Indeed.

Now imprisoned, he has had time to reflect on whether or not the dream of a just and good Islamic State is even possible and if ISIS had any chance of bringing it to reality.

“Today I feel really tired,” he confesses. “It’s not like you see it. Most were not educated people in IS. Most have some reasons for joining, how they collect them to make this state, who collects them, the matter is really strange,” he reflects, sadness filling his eyes. “While we came to save Muslims from the authoritarian control of the Syrian regime and to build these things [the ISIS dream,] we were shocked and we fell into the same that they were in. There are many people in authority in the Islamic State that are dictatorial. Sometimes I feel like we were used like a paper burned and discarded. We tried to remove Assad and replaced with worse than Assad.”

“The practices used against the Syrian people, it was very violent. The people under the authority of IS, they don’t care about the education system. They just wanted to extract the oil, etc. They didn’t give thought to the poor people, to enhance their life levels, to be taken care of. Likewise, under Bashar, the Ba’ath Party regime has a very violent security agency, but ISIS built worse than this – the emni security system. Also, they divided the people into fighter and non-fighters, and the fighters were not punished like they punished the others,” he said.

“In Raqqa there were bodies on the roads in different places, actually when you pass through the squares and roads you see hanging bodies. There were hangings, torture with electricity… They are not good people. They try to take benefit from their places. Each one has a desire to control.”

“My search was not for power, or getting authority or ruling,” Abu Mansour claims, and he may be speaking honestly. Once representing ISIS as an ambassador, representing a short-lived, but powerful state, he is now powerless, sitting in an Iraqi prison, facing a death sentence – his dreams dashed completely.

Special thanks to the Iraq Counter Terrorism Services, ICSVE’s partner in Iraq, supporting ICSVE’s research on behalf of our Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project.

Homeland Security Today

Police beat minors in southeastern Turkey
Van Bar Association published photos of minors subjected to torture at police station in Van

Three Kurdish teenagers said they were subjected to police torture during detention in Turkey’s southeastern city of Van, lawyers from the Van Bar Association reported on Sunday.

Turkish police on Feb. 15 detained the three teenagers, aged between 14 and 17, and used violence against them during and after their detention in Van’s Ipekyolu district, according to victims’ statements. The youngsters told the Van Bar Association that the police beat them, kicked them in the head, hit them with batons and put their heads into toilet bowls, the Ahval news site reported.

“After I came home from work, the police detained me due to incidents in the neighborhood and got me on the ground. They struck my back with batons. They kicked me in the stomach with their boots, pulled my hair and hit me in the face. They took me to the police station [near the Tuşba Shopping Center] and continued beating me there. They put my head into a toilet bowl and insulted me,” one of the victims, aged 17, said.

A 16-year-old victim said the police mistreated him as well. “They questioned me at the police station, but I told them I knew nothing. They beat me and swore at me.”

The third victim, a 14-year-old Kurd who lost partial vision in his left eye due to the police torture, said he was going shopping when the police detained him.

“Eight police officers assaulted me. …They took me to the police station after they beat me on the street. They put my head into a toilet bowl. Right now, there is blurriness and itching in my left eye.”

The Van Bar Association said hospital reports proved the three teenagers were mistreated and subjected to torture, sustaining serious injuries.

Perihan Duman, the mother of one of the detained minors, said: “I am haunted by images of my son. I haven’t been able to sleep for two days,” while his father, Hacı Duman, added, “The police called us at 3:30 a.m., long after my son was detained and badly beaten.”

The bar association filed a criminal complaint against the police officers involved the incident.

The families claim the police try to extend detention of minors, hoping that signs of torture will disappear in time. (SCF with Ahval, Bold Medya)

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF)



„Folter an Minderjährigen wird zur Normalität“

Drei Minderjährige werden am 15. Februar in Wan festgenommen und anschließend von den Sicherheitskräften misshandelt. Die Rechtsanwaltskammer sieht einen direkten Zusammenhang zwischen der Folter und der Haltung der AKP-Regierung.

Am 15. Februar wurden in dem Bezirk Ipekyolu in Wan (Van) drei Minderjährige festgenommen und anschließend von den Sicherheitskräften misshandelt. Das geht aus den ärztlichen Attesten der 14-, 16- und 17-jährigen Jugendlichen hervor. Alle drei befinden sich weiterhin in Gewahrsam. Die Rechtsanwaltskammer von Wan kündigte an, juristisch gegen die Misshandlung der drei Minderjährigen vorzugehen.

Die Jugendlichen waren am Abend des 15. Februars festgenommen worden. Anschließend wurden sie in der Leitstelle der Sicherheitskräfte am Kopf und Körper mit Fußtritten und Schlägen mit den Gewehrkolben traktiert. Später wurden zudem die Köpfe der Minderjährigen in Toiletten eingetaucht.

„Folter wird zur Normalität“

Cemal Demir von der Rechtsanwaltskammer Wan sieht einen Zusammenhang mit den zunehmenden Foltervorfällen im Land und der Haltung der türkischen Regierung. Trotz der vermeintlichen Bekenntnisse der Regierung zur „Null-Toleranz für Folter“ seien Vorfälle wie nun in Wan niemals von der Tagesordnung der Türkei verschwunden. „Im Gegenteil, Foltervorfälle wie jüngst in Wan sind zu Normalität geworden. Es gibt zahlreiche Beispiele dafür. Es gibt kein ernstzunehmendes Vorgehen der Regierung gegen die Folter. Die allgemeine Straflosigkeit gegen Foltervergehen führt zu einem sprunghaften Anstieg von Misshandlungen und Folter in Gewahrsam. Dass Minderjährige in Wan dieser menschenverachtenden Folter ausgesetzt wurden, darf nicht missachtet werden. Die Verantwortlichen müssen auf schnellstem Wege identifiziert und hart bestraft werden“, so Demir.

Die Rechtsanwaltskammer von Wan berichtet, dass sie den Vorfall in Wan weiter verfolgen werden. Die drei Folteropfer wurden mittlerweile in eine Jugendstrafanstalt überbracht. Bevor sie dorthin verlegt wurden, habe man bewirken können, dass sie einer ärztlichen Untersuchung unterzogen werden. Dort konnten die Foltereinwirkungen attestiert werden. Die Anwält*innen halten weiter Kontakt zu den drei Minderjährigen. Ihre Berichte über die Folter wurden dokumentiert und ein Beschwerdeverfahren zu dem Vorfall bei der Staatsanwaltschaft von Wan eingeleitet. Die Rechtsanwaltskammer werde den Fall weiter verfolgen.



HIER ( auf türkisch )

The Killing of Tahir Elçi

On 28 November 2015, Tahir Elçi, a prominent Kurdish human rights lawyer, was shot and killed during a press conference in the city of Diyarbakır, Turkey.

Elçi’s death came during a time of rising tensions in the country, against the backdrop of the decades-long conflict between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a militant political movement dedicated to achieving Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast.

By late 2015, a major peace process had recently collapsed into violence. Elçi had been a prominent voice for calm and de-escalation, but after his death, the situation in Diyarbakır deteriorated into humanitarian catastrophe, leaving hundreds of civilians dead and thousands displaced.

It was not only the manner of his death—seemingly echoing the assassinations of the conflict’s worse years—that caused outrage, and fulled rumours and conspiracy theories. The early days of the investigation into his death were chaotic, and in three years since the killing, no one has been charged.

In 2016, the Diyarbakır Bar Association, of which Elçi was chairman at the time of his death, asked Forensic Architecture to examine the evidence in their possession, and to independently investigate the circumstances of his death. As Elçi was killed during a press conference, multiple cameras captured the moments leading up to his death.

In December 2018, the results of our analysis were submitted to the public prosecutor in Diyarbakır, with the intention of challenging the Turkish state to reinvigorate its own investigation.

In February 2019, we published an extended report on our investigation through openDemocracy, exploring in depth some of the wider context behind Elçi’s death, and our investigation. You can read that here (English) and here (Türkçe).

You can also view our methodology here: English / Türkçe

Forensic Architecture


The Killing of Tahir Elçi – ENGLISH

The Killing of Tahir Elçi – EN from Forensic Architecture on Vimeo.

Syrians celebrating new year at Istanbul’s Taksim square sparks outrage

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey pouring into Istanbul’s Taksim square on Monday night to celebrate the new year created a wave of anti-Syrian outrage in the country, Sözcü newspaper reported.

Turks reacted when many young Syrian men opened flags and chanted slogans in square, the central point of new year celebrations in Turkey.

A video showing Syrian refugees’ new year celebrations in Istanbul went viral in the early hours of 2019, with many lashing out at the Syrians and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Syrian refugees policy on social media.

Over 5,000 tweets were posted within hours with the hashtag #ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum [I don’t want Syrians in my country].

“In the video, which was shared by thousands in a couple of hours, there are Syrians who are jubilantly celebrating the new year by dancing in the Taksim square and waving Syrian flags. But, it is noticed that there are no Turks among those joining the celebrations,” Sözcü newspaper said.

One Syrian man was detained by the police on Monday night for allegedly sexually harassing two women, Sözcü said.

Turkey is home to a reported 3.8 million Syrian refugees, having implemented an open doors policy since the beginning of the conflict in the neighbouring country in 2011.

More than 70 percent of Turkish people believe Syrian refugees are taking their jobs and two-thirds think Syrians are responsible for increasing the crime rate, according to a poll conducted by Istanbul Bilgi University’s Centre for Migration Research in 2018.

“In the past we were talking about tourists being harassed during celebrations in Taksim, now we are excepted to digest the fact that Syrians wave their flags and harass us. Welcome 2019, this is Turkey,” Ata Benli, a Turkish Twitter user said. ( VIDEO )

Some Turks spoke out against the outrage and hashtag against Syrians.

‚‘It’s easy to say I don‘t want Syrians in my country just because they had fun in Taksim Square. If we are to question anything, it should be the support Turkey provides to armed forces under the name of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). For example, the fee for the salary, clothing, weapons and food provided to this group is coming out of the pockets of this country’s citiziens,'‘ one Twitter user said.

“Did our young people become martyred on their soil for Syrian youth to invade Taksim, to stage a show with their flags chanting ‘Syria’, and to harass our girls,” another one said on Twitter.

‚‘You don‘t want Syrians in your country, but do the Syrians want you in their country?'‘ another user asked, in an apparent reference to Turkey’s military presence in the country.

“There are Syrians everywhere, on the streets at schools, offices,” one Turkish woman said. “Taksim has been invaded by them. They can mark this in history as ‘land invaded without fighting any war’,” she added.

Özkan Yalım, a deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), also criticised the Syrians’ celebrations. “On the one side there are our glorious Turkish soldiers during in Syria, on the other side there are Syrians celebrating new year in Istanbul. Isn’t enough is enough,” he said.

Many Turks are angered by AKP policies which they claim provide Syrian refugees with preferential treatment in social services as well as financial assistance.

The debate over Turkey’s protection of Syrian refugees has taken on more urgency in the past year, with opposition lawmakers criticising the government’s spending on refugees during an economic downturn.

Some 55,000 Syrians have been granted Turkish citizenship in the past seven years, according to the Turkish government.


Kurde in der Westtürkei erschossen

In Sakarya in der Westtürkei ist ein Kurde erschossen worden, weil er auf die Frage, ob er Kurde ist, mit „ja“ geantwortet hat. Vor zwei Jahren wurde bereits sein Bruder auf gleiche Weise ermordet.

Weil sie kurdisch miteinander gesprochen haben, sind Kadir Sakçı (43) und sein 16-jähriger Sohn Burhan in der westtürkischen Provinz Sakarya mit einer Schusswaffe angegriffen worden. Der Vater erlag seinen Schussverletzungen, der Sohn wurde schwer verletzt. Der Angreifer erklärte zu seiner Verteidigung, er sei betrunken gewesen und könne sich an nichts erinnern.

Der Vorfall ereignete sich bereits am vergangenen Sonntag in der Kreisstadt Hendek vor einer Kneipe. Nach vorliegenden Informationen hat der aus Mûş stammende Kadir Sakçı seinen Sohn vom Friseur abgeholt. Als sie an einer Kneipe vorbeigingen, wurde ihnen der Weg von Hikmet Usta (55) und weiteren Männern abgeschnitten. Vater und Sohn hatten sich zuvor in ihrer Muttersprache Kurdisch unterhalten. Usta fragte nach: „Seid ihr Kurden oder aus Syrien?“ Kadir Sakçı antwortete: „Ja, wir sind Kurden.“ Daraufhin zog Usta eine Waffe und schoss. Vater und Sohn wurden verletzt ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert, wo Kadir Sakçı seinen Verletzungen erlag. Burhan wird weiterhin im Krankenhaus behandelt.

Der Täter Hikmet Usta flüchtete nach Bursa, wo er festgenommen wurde. Nach Angaben von Fahrettin Sakçı, eines Bruders des Getöteten, ist im Jahr 2016 bereits ein weiterer Bruder, Sabri Sakçı, auf gleiche Weise auf der Straße erschossen worden. Von vier Tätern wurde nur einer verurteilt, der vorzeitig aus der Haft entlassen wurde.


CDU stimmt gegen Verbot von türkisch-nationalistischem Wolfsgruß

Die CDU hat sich gegen ein Verbot des sogenannten Wolfsgrußes ausgesprochen – einem Zeichen der türkisch-nationalistischen Ülkücü-Bewegung, auch „Graue Wölfe“ genannt.

Die Mehrheit der Delegierten des Bundesparteitags in Hamburg stimmte gegen einen entsprechenden Antrag der Berliner Kreisverbände Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Neukölln und Mitte sowie des Auslandsverbands Brüssel. In dem Antrag war auch ein Verbot des Erkennungszeichens der islamistischen Muslimbruderschaft vorgesehen, des sogenannten Rabia-Grußes. Hessens Innenminister Beuth sagte, man sei zweifellos die Partei der inneren Sicherheit, dennoch sei der Vorstoß nicht so einfach. Er zog einen Vergleich zur Terrororganisation IS, deren Symbole nicht gezeigt werden dürfen. Im Gegensatz zum IS seien beide im Antrag thematisierte Gruppen in Deutschland aber nicht verboten.

Der Parteitag folgte dagegen einem Vorschlag der Antragskommission, die Unions-Bundestagsfraktion solle sich tiefergehend mit dem Anliegen befassen. Der CDU-Abgeordnete de Vries hatte sich schon vor Längerem für ein gesetzliches Vorgehen ausgesprochen, ähnlich wie die Linken-Fraktionsvize Dagdelen. Der Politologe Kemal Bozay stellt den Wolfsgruß in einen Zusammenhang mit dem Hakenkreuz. Beides habe keinen Platz in der Gesellschaft, erklärte in früheren Äußerungen. Laut Bozay dürften die Grauen Wölfe die größte rechtsextreme Organisation in Deutschland mit Ende 2017 geschätzt mehr als 18.000 Anhängern sein. Zum Vergleich: der Verfassungsschutzbericht von 2017 verzeichnete für die NPD 4.500 Mitglieder. In der Geschichte der Turkvölker hat der Wolf eine besondere Bedeutung.

Österreich bringt Verbot bereits auf den Weg

Beim Wolfsgruß werden zwei Finger einer Hand als Ohren abgespreizt und die anderen drei zur Schnauze geformt. Beim Rabia-Zeichen werden vier Finger einer Hand abgespreizt und der Daumen angewinkelt. Der türkische Staatschef Erdogan benutzte den Gruß bei seinem Deutschland-Besuch im Dezember.

Österreichs Regierung arbeitet derzeit einer gesetzliche Ausweitung des Verbots extremistischer Symbole. Darunter sollen auch Wolfs- und Rabia-Gruß fallen.


On World Children’s Day, 197 children in prison on terror charges in Turkey

Under Turkey’s strict anti-terror laws, Kurdish youth have been routinely arrested at protests where some threw stones at police. As young as 12, the so-called „stone-throwing kids“ were sentenced as adults for supporting terrorism.

Some 197 children are in prison on terror charges, and a total of 2,767 children between the ages of 12 and 18 are in jail, according to the report of the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses.

Opportunities at home decayed during their imprisonment and gaps in education make the already difficult prospect of integrating into the society almost impossible.

Impunity for torture and maltreatment

Civil Society Association in Penal Execution System (CISST) pointed out that NGOs were not allowed make any observations in prisons by visits to report on the claims of violence cases, rights violations against child prisoners.

The organisation also underlined that the ministries addressed the issue in prisons only with reference to „peer violence“ yet peer violence covered only a tiny portion of all violence cases in jail such as maltreatment and torture.

Complaints lodged against torture and maltreatment ended up with no punishment, according to CISST.

„Between the years of 2010-2015, 64 investigations were launched. Within these 64 investigations, proceedings have been initiated with regards to 484 personnel, but only one person was sentenced to prison in the end“.

The reports of CISST demonstrate that between March 2009 and March 2017, 18 children have lost their lives behind bars. 10 of these 18 children were under arrest.

Between November 2015 – June 2017, six children lost their lives in prisons. Five of these children died due to fire that broke out / that was started in their wards. The other child committed suicide.

The Region

Türkische Nationalisten: NRW prüft Verbot der Grauen Wölfe

Das Land NRW prüft ein Verbot der türkisch ultranationalistischen Bewegung die „Grauen Wölfe“. Das geht aus einer Anfrage der NRZ beim Innenministerium hervor. In NRW bestünden Anhaltspunkte für den Verdacht, dass sie durch ihr extrem nationalistisches Gedankengut Ziele verfolge, die sich gegen das friedliche Zusammenleben der Völker richten, heißt es.

Der Verfassungsschutz beobachtet in NRW die „Föderation der Türkischen Idealistenvereine e.V.“ (ADÜTDF). Sie sei der deutschlandweit größte Dachverband der „Ülkücü-Bewegung“ (sog. „Graue Wölfe“). 70 dieser Vereine gibt es in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Geschätzte Mitgliederzahl: 2000.

Ihre Mitglieder orientieren sich politisch an der Partei der Nationalistischen Bewegung MHP, die im türkischen Parlament vertreten ist. Bei der Präsidentenwahl hatte die MHP Erdogan unterstützt. Die Ideologie der Ülkücü-Bewegung sei von einem übersteigerten Nationalbewusstsein geprägt, heißt es seitens des NRW-Innenministeriums. ADÜTÜF stand am Mittwoch nicht für eine Stellungnahme zur Verfügung.

Größte rechtsextreme Organisation in Deutschland

Einige Gewalttaten der Grauen Wölfe hat die vom Land geförderte Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus zusammengetragen. Ein Beispiel: Am 1. Juli 1999 wird in Köln der 33-Jährige Erol Ispir ermordet. Zwei Männer erstechen den Kurden in einem linken Vereinslokal. Sie sind als Anhänger der Grauen Wölfe bekannt.

Jemand, der sich mit dem Agieren der Grauen Wölfe auskennt, ist der Kölner Sozialwissenschaftler Kemal Bozay. Er glaubt, dass sie einen „Konfliktimport“ durchführen. „Sie hetzen gegen tatsächliche oder vermeintliche Linke und alle Nicht-Türken – wozu sie auch Armenier oder Kurden zählen.“

Der Sozialwissenschaftler warnt vor einer Verharmlosung der Grauen Wölfe als Randthema türkischstämmiger Menschen in Deutschland: Hierzulande dürften sie mit schätzungsweise 18.000 Mitgliedern die stärkste rechtsextreme Organisation sein, meint Bozay. „Zahlenmäßig mehr als dreimal so groß wie die NPD.“

Nach entsprechenden Plänen in Österreich hatten sich deutsche Politiker bereits im Oktober für ein Verbot des sogenannten Wolfsgrußes, dem Erkennungszeichen der „Grauen Wölfe“ ausgesprochen. Den Grünen in NRW geht das nicht weit genug.

Nur den Wolfsgruß zu verbieten sei der falsche Weg, sagt Berivan Aymaz, integrationspolitische Sprecherin der Partei. „Will man wirklich ernsthaft gegen aggressive türkische Nationalisten und ihre Symbole vorgehen, muss man Vereinigungen wie die Grauen Wölfe verbieten“, sagte Aymaz der NRZ. Die Grünen-Politikerin regt eine gesellschaftliche Auseinandersetzung an.

Die Ideologie der Grauen Wölfe richte sich nicht nur gegen innertürkische Personengruppen, „sie ist geprägt von Rassismus gegenüber allen nicht-türkischen Bevölkerungsteilen und ganz klar antisemitisch.“ Viel zu lange sei das Thema als Nischenthema betrachtet worden. Dies müsse sich ändern. „Wir müssen genauer hinschauen und dagegen ankämpfen, dass solche Gruppierungen unsere Gesellschaft auseinanderreißen.“

Vergleich mit dem Hitlergruß

Seit Jahren fordert die Vizefraktionschefin der Linksfraktion im Bundestag, Sevim Dağdelen, ein Verbot des Wolfsgrußes und vergleicht diesen mit dem Hitlergruß. Die Bundesregierung dürfe vor türkischen Faschisten nicht länger die Augen verschließen, fordert die gebürtige Duisburgerin. „Mit ihrem extremen türkischen Nationalismus tragen sie wesentlich zur Polarisierung in Deutschland bei und verbreiten ein Klima der Angst.“

Die rechtlichen Hürden für Verbote von Organisationen und deren Symbole seien hoch, die Ülkücü-Bewegung in NRW derzeit ein Verdachtsfall, sagt eine Sprecherin des Innenministeriums. „Auf dessen Prüfung konzentrieren sich aktuell die Beobachtungen des Verfassungsschutzes.“


Bundesregierung hilft Idlib-Rebellen in Syrien

Deutschland unterstützt Oppositionelle im syrischen Idlib. Das könnte Russland provozieren – und die Türkei. Deren Armee will mehr Kurdenstellungen bombardieren.

Während Russland, Frankreich, die Türkei und Deutschland über Syriens Zukunft mit einem im Amt verbleibenden Präsidenten Baschar al Assad verhandeln, ist bekannt geworden, dass die Bundesregierung die Oppositionellen mit Millionensummen unterstützt. Nach Tagesspiegel-Informationen erhalten die in Idlib, Syriens bedeutendster Hochburg der Aufständischen, eingekesselten Rebellen derzeit 37,5 Millionen Euro vom Auswärtigen Amt sowie über die Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) vom Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung. Dazu kommen 11,3 Millionen Euro anderer Geber und über deutsche Stellen mitverwaltete 17,05 Millionen Euro der Europäischen Union. Insgesamt handelt es sich also um fast 49 Millionen Euro.

Dies geht aus einer Antwort von Außenamtsstaatssekretär Walter Lindner (SPD) auf Anfrage der Bundestagsabgeordneten Evrim Sommer (Linke) hervor, die dem Tagesspiegel vorliegt. Diese Hilfe ist insofern brisant, als dass sie mindestens zwei Regierungen, provozieren könnte. Zunächst ist da Russland, das die Zentralregierung von Assad unterstützt. Er möchte die Rebellenhochburg erobern und wird von der internationalen Gemeinschaft – vor allem seinem Verbündeten Moskau – bislang davon abgehalten. Dann ist da die türkische Regierung, die in Idlib islamistische und turkmenische Milizen aufrüstete.

Bundesregierung: Helfen zivilen Akteure, nicht extremistischen Rebellen

Die in Ankara herrschende AKP-Regierung wollte Assad jahrelang stürzen. Sie nutzt ihre Kräfte nun allerdings vorrangig, um in Syrien die prowestlichen und sozialistischen Kurden anzugreifen. Die Gelder der deutschen Bundesregierung für Rebellen in Idlib dürften Ankara dann ärgern, wenn Außenamtsstaatssekretär Lindner recht behalten sollte. Man unterstütze vor Ort „zivile Akteure, die sich extremistischen Einflüssen in der Region Idlib entgegenstellen“, schreibt er in der Antwort auf die Anfrage. Womit die protürkischen Islamisten wohl ausfallen.
Ebenfalls am Dienstag wurde bekannt, dass Assads Regierung der Türkei erneut vorwarf, die über Moskau vermittelte Entwaffnung der Islamisten in Idlib nicht umzusetzen. Die Regierung in Ankara sei nicht gewillt, sich an die Absprachen zu halten, sagte Außenminister Walid al Mualem in Damaskus der staatlichen Nachrichtenagentur Sana. Ankara widersprach: Die mit Russland vereinbarte Schaffung einer entmilitarisierten Zone laufe nach Plan. Sollten Extremisten den Abzug verhindern, greife die türkische Armee ein. Beim Syrien-Gipfel vor einigen Tagen in Ankara zeigten sich Russlands Staatschef Wladimir Putin und der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan einvernehmlich.

Erdogan kündigt Bomben auch östlich des Euphrats an

Erdogan nutzt diese Lage für türkische Expansionsansprüche. Ankaras Armee hält derzeit nordsyrisch-kurdische Gebiete besetzt und baut dort die Infrastruktur um. Es geht Erdogan darum, eine Autonomiezone der Kurden wie in Nordirak zu verhindern. So kündigte Erdogan am Dienstag den Beginn einer neuen Offensive an. Offenbar will er die von den USA unterstützen Kurden, Christen und säkularen arabischen Verbände nun auch dort angreifen, wo ihnen bislang US-Truppen helfen. Die Operation gegen „terroristische Strukturen“ östlich des Euphrats habe begonnen, sagte Erdogan. Er betrachtet die syrischen Kurdenpartei PYD und deren verbündete Miliz YPG als Schwesterorganisationen der verbotenen PKK. Am Wochenende hatte Ankaras Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu gemeldet, die türkische Armee habe am Ostufer des Euphrat kurdische Stellungen bombardiert.

Linke fordert deutsche Hilfe für Kurden

„Die Stabilisierungshilfe und die humanitäre Unterstützung der Bundesregierung für die Menschen in der Region Idlib sind zu begrüßen“, sagte Linken-Abgeordnete Evrim Sommer. „Es muss aber sichergestellt sein, dass sie ausschließlich der Zivilbevölkerung zu Gute kommen und nicht von Erdogan bewaffnete islamistische Terrorbanden mit deutschen Steuergeldern gepäppelt werden.“ Wolle die Bundesregierung wirklich „prinzipiengeleitete Hilfe“ leisten, müsse sie auch die Kurden unterstützen. Vor einigen Tagen hatte die türkische Armee auch Orte nahe der nordsyrischen Grenzstadt Kobane bombardiert. Kobane war 2014 bekannt geworden, weil die von der türkischen Grenze und dem „Islamischen Staat“ eingekesselten Kurden dort nach einer verlustreichen Schlacht letztlich siegten.

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