The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) terrorist attack in France continues to have its repercussions.
But in Turkey, the subject has been dropped from the agenda. The pro-government media outlets have hastily taken it off the agenda. However, the terror attack in France has aspects that closely concern Turkey. For a long time, the West had accused Turkey of turning a blind eye to jihadists and allowing them to freely travel between Turkey and Syria, and perceived this as a security threat.
In this regard, the terrorist attacks by all jihadists including ISIL are related to Turkey. One question that will cast light on the investigations is: “Did the jihadists who conducted terrorist attacks around the world use Turkey as a transition country?”
The terrorist attack in France is related to Turkey in another important respect. A source of mine from the security forces claims there is a link between the terrorist attack in France and the swap deal Turkey had made with ISIL.
“Some of the assailants in France are from the 200 ISIL militants that ISIL swapped in return for 49 Turkish hostages,” my source says. My source has other hair-raising claims, but the current claim is scandalous enough. I note it for the record.
Let me elaborate on this matter for the uninitiated. As you may remember, Turkey had negotiated with ISIL and given some 200 ISIL militants to ISIL in exchange for 49 Turkish people who had been taken hostage by ISIL in Turkey’s Mosul consulate.
At that time the Taraf newspaper reported the event as follows: “In return for 49 consulate staff members, 180 ISIL militants were delivered to the organization. The militants, including some senior leaders, were taken to Van before they were taken to Syria in buses.”
After President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “Yes, a swap deal was made, so what?” the details of the swap deal made with ISIL for the release of 49 consulate staff members became clear. The 180 ISIL militants were delivered to the organization in return for the consulate staff. Some of these people were the organization members who had been detained. The organization members delivered to ISIL included some senior organization leaders.
The background to the release of 49 hostages is as follows: The process started with the US air strikes against ISIL. The US asked Turkey not to release the ISIL militants who had received medical treatment in Turkey. The US also cautioned Turkey about releasing ISIL members who had been apprehended in Turkey. ISIL, on the other hand, continued to pressurize the government to release the organization members who had been apprehended and received medical treatment in Turkey.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) developed the “swap” formula in response to pressure from the US and ISIL. That is, in return for the hostages, the release of the ISIL militants in Turkey was proposed. This is the formula behind the swap deal. This diplomatic formula reportedly helped Turkey get rid of the ISIL militants in the country and simultaneously ensure the release of the hostages. Turkey’s security units didn’t launch any operation during the release of the hostages.
The leading figures of the tribes that supported the US played a role in the swap deal. After the deal was made, ISIL brought the hostages to the Turkish-Syria border and informed the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). And the hostages were delivered to the security units and taken to Turkey.
Western media outlets covered the matter and maintained that ISIL members delivered to ISIL were citizens of Western countries. According to those reports, the militants delivered to ISIL included terrorists of Belgian, French, US and UK origins.
My source claims that the perpetrators of the attack in France included the terrorists Turkey delivered to ISIL.
When that swap came onto the agenda, I wrote: “Erdoğan confirmed the swap by saying, ‘Whatever we gave does not matter as we saved our citizens in the end.’ With the swap, they saved the hostages, but they borrowed trouble for Turkey. This matter will give Turkey a large headache.”
If what my source says is true, i.e., if the ISIL militants Turkey swapped for hostages are linked to the France attack, this is a scandal…