A Turkish daily Friday published images it said showed the Turkish spy agency helping to smuggle jihadis into Syria, the latest allegations by the newspaper accusing the authorities of aiding extremist groups across the border, AFP reports.
The government had last week lambasted the Cumhuriyet daily for publishing video footage the paper said showed the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) helping send weapons to Syria early last year.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said its editor Can Dundar would pay a “heavy price” and promptly filed a criminal complaint demanding he serves multiple life sentences.
But Friday’s story showed the staunchly secular Cumhuriyet is not giving any ground in an increasingly tense standoff with the Islamic-rooted government ahead of Sunday’s legislative elections.
Cumhuriyet said that a group of jihadis were first brought to the Turkish border town of Reyhanli on January 9, 2014 from Atme refugee camp in Syria in a clandestine operation.
From there, they were smuggled into Tal Abyad, a border town used by ISIS as a gateway from Turkey, on two buses rented by the MIT, Cumhuriyet claimed.