“Turkey says 49 hostages seized by ISIS have been freed…”

The official explanation “sounds a bit too good to be true,” said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who chairs the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies. “There are some very legitimate and unanswered questions about how this happened.”

More headlines today:

  • Did ISIS Attack Kobani from Turkey?
  • German deputy speaker: NATO must stop Turkey support for ISIS.
  • Is NATO Ally Turkey Tacitly Fueling the ISIS War Machine?

So what is the deal with Turkey and ISiS?

Simple. Turkey is trying to redefine itself. As long as the cold war was on it was an important member of NATO. The US and Western Europe were very attentive to all its needs. (check the impressive weaponry it got from the US) Then, the Berlin wall fell and the cold war was over. Slowly but surely Turkey lost it’s pivotal position. Come Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. First he tried to join the EU. That effort did not have much success, so he decided to look elsewhere; why not revive Turkey’s old position as an Islamic leader?  His main competitor at a time, Iran, was Shia, which comprise only 10% of muslims. (Turkey is mostly Sunni)  When the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections in Egypt Erdoğan realized the opportunity: Together they could lead the Muslim world… But then the Army took over in Egypt and the dream was dead… After being lost for a while and trying to keep his popularity in the Muslim world by criticizing the West, mostly Israel and the US, he saw his opportunity with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. In secret negotiation with their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they got “engaged”. Once ISIS becomes a “real” nation, it will need at least one powerful Islamic friend in the region who is not already “engaged”. As for Turkey, it will became the only nation with access to and relationship with the new, powerful Islamic State, and through them it could became the Muslim leader Erdoğan was always dreaming of, all that without spilling any Turkish  blood… a win-win indeed.

And here is some new evidence as of Jan 16, 2014: