In Turkish media it emerges that Turkey's support for ISIS jihadists in Syria comes from the highest level of power in the country - the President and the government.
Today's Zaman, which is controlled by the Gülen movement, writes that President Recep Erdoğan has admitted that the Turkish intelligence service, MIT, has smuggled weapons to ISIS in Syria.
In a speech on November 24, to an assembly of teachers, the president said, according to the newspaper:
"You know of the treason regarding the MIT trucks, don't you? So what if there were weapons in them? I believe that our people will not forgive those who sabotaged this support.”
Erdoğan was speaking just hours after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft near the Syrian border on Tuesday morning.
The comment came after Turkish press has been presented with increasing evidence of this illegal transport. Today's Zaman writes:
Early in 2014, an anonymous tip led to the interception of a number of trucks on the suspicion of weapons smuggling. The first operation took place in Hatay on Jan. 1, 2014. Another anonymous tip led to three more trucks being stopped and searched in Turkey’s southern Adana province on Jan. 19, 2014.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials called the 2014 investigation of the MİT trucks “treason and espionage” on the part of the prosecutors because the trucks were claimed to be transporting humanitarian aid to the Bayır-Bucak Turkmens.
Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, said during a television program immediately after the interception of the trucks became public knowledge that the trucks were carrying aid supplies to Turkmens in Syria.
Many high-level Turkish officials, including then-President Abdullah Gül, said the trucks' cargo was a "state secret," which led some to speculate that the trucks were carrying arms.
According to the Canadian online newspaper ThinkPol, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said in a meeting with the ruling party that it was he who personally gave the order to shoot down the Russian jet.
26. November 2015, chief editor of the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and the newspaper's Ankara correspondent, Erdem Gül, were arrested, accused of being "members of a terrorist organization, conducting espionage and revealing confidential documents." If they are found guilty as charged, they could be sentenced to life imprisonment.
This is of course because they have revealed some of President Erdoğan's crimes, something the president and MIT look at as a a crime in itself.
These are the terms of democracy used by our NATO ally Turkey, a country we are obliged to go to war for if NATO gives the order.
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