Turkish self interests were the reason of course.
When these self interests were compromised by the jihadis’ natural savage outbursts, the Turks tried to reign in the connections, but even that is proving an elusive task, since many elements within the Turkish bureaucracy share the ideals and goals of the Islamic State.
After Reyhanli, Turks grew wary of entanglements in Syria’s civil war. They also resented the $1.5 billion cost of providing for 800,000 Syrian refugees. Ankara tried to distance itself from ISIS. Suspending support was easier said than done.
Former President and seven-time Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel said, “It is fundamental principle that there is one state. In our country there are two.” He was referring to the so-called “Deep State,” a shadowy network of bureaucrats, intelligence and security officials, and members of organized crime who are involved in arms and drug smuggling and have a history of targeted killings and political assassinations. With or without Erdogan’s knowledge, the ISIS gravy train continued.
Why is Turkey supporting Islamic State fighters in Iraq?
Now that U.S. forces are engaged in combat operations against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, the Obama administration must press ISIS on all fronts, targeting its financing, logistics, and weapons providers. Turkey — America’s ally and NATO member — is allegedly involved. Clarifying Turkey’s role would serve U.S.-Turkey relations.
During my visit recent to Turkey, members of Turkey’s parliament and prominent personalities described connections between Turkey, Turks and militant Sunni organizations, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They allege a prominent role for Turkey’s Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), an Islamic charity with a history of assisting extremist groups. Bilal Erdogan, President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son, has ties to the IHH board, and allegedly uses his father’s political network to raise funds for the organization. Some sources say Bilal has served on the IHH board, but the IHH web site does not currently list him as a board member.
Turkey is an original sponsor of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). Starting in 2013, it provided material and logistical support to ISIS for its fight against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Now ISIS controls vast territories in Western Iraq and parts of Syria, functioning like a terror state. Extremist violence could blow back, threatening moderate Muslim countries like Turkey.
Cengiz Candar, one of Turkey’s most respected journalists recently wrote that Turkey’s Intelligence Agency (MIT) was the “midwife” that helped birth the Sunni armed movement. Beginning in 2012, according to Candar, Turkey provided weapons and logistical support to jihadis fighting the Syrian regime and to abort the birth of an autonomous Kurdistan in Syria.
President-elect Erdogan was outraged by atrocities committed against Sunni Muslims in Syria. He became the chief critic of Syria’s President Bashar al- Assad, hosting opposition groups and the Free Syrian Army’s headquarters in Gaziantep. The West’s failure to support the Free Syrian Army further incensed Erdogan. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates provided funds, while Turkey coordinated the travel, payments, and weapons supplies for ISIS, Al-Nusra, and the Islamic Front.
More here. H/T: Fjordman