November 20, 2015

Turkey’s future with ISIS and Syrianization

İhsan Yılmaz

The massacre that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has committed in Paris is the start of a new war.

This will be a bloody and long war. Even if ISIS is annihilated, the fact that many parts of the Muslim world have been in terrible shape for 1,000 years in terms of all sorts of deprivation, self-neglect and ignorance, many new types of ISIS could easily emerge. It is saddening that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regime is trying to finish off not ISIS but the Hizmet movement, which has been trying for a few decades to eradicate the reasons that pave the way for the emergence of terrorist organizations like ISIS.

The AKP is not only trying to annihilate the peaceful Hizmet movement that focuses on education, dialogue and philanthropy, it has also been turning a blind eye to ISIS, to say the least. I have written several pieces on this here in this column. And the issue is so dangerous and fatal that we must keep talking about it every day until our politicians have become sober enough to deal with this problem. Even the latest revelation that 8 percent of the Turkish people do not see ISIS as a terrorist group is telling. And I am sure those are the “brave” ones who revealed their honest feelings to the pollsters; I would not be surprised if the real percentage of ISIS sympathizers is double this figure.

Hundreds of messages that I keep receiving from the AKP's trolls every day show that they no longer hide their thirst for our blood. This trend especially increased after the AKP's Nov. 1 election victory as they now openly say Hizmet volunteers must be persecuted and tortured. They constantly argue that since Hizmet volunteers are traitors, their lives, property and women are “halal” (Islamically permissible) for the AKP leaders to confiscate. This is exactly what ISIS has been doing to the different dissident groups in Iraq and Syria. Hizmet movement volunteers are no longer safe in Turkey.

But there is much more: Turkey's “Syrianization” may also pave the way for a civil war where Kurds, Alevis, Turkish nationalists, Turkish ISIS, Turkish al-Qaeda, pro-AKP mafia groups and pro-AKP religious fanatics are in constant war with each other. If ISIS is crushed in Iraq and Syria, its members will come to Turkey to continue their bloody religious terrorism. Not only have Turkey's intelligence means been shredded into pieces by the AKP in its fight against Hizmet, so has its theological infrastructure, so much so that Turkish Islam's immune system against radicalism, violence and terrorism has now been destroyed. For many AKP supporters, Islam is a religion that permits and justifies violence, the confiscation of property, murder, torture and rape against dissidents of their regime.

Having also learned that terrorist actions such as the one in Ankara that killed more than 100 innocent people only increase the AKP's votes because of the fear that it created, the AKP regime will not bother fighting against terrorism as long as it is not against its regime but targets civilian groups that do not support the AKP.

Published on Today's Zaman, 20 November 2015, Friday