According to Reuters and Hürriyet Daily News(Turkish) a suicide bomber thought to have crossed recently from Syria killed nine German and one Peruvian tourists on Tuesday in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet Square, a major tourist draw, in an attack Turkey blamed on Islamic State. Fifteen people were also hurt in the attack.
The suicide bomber, Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIL militant of Syrian origin who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square near the Blue Mosque in the morning hours of Jan. 12 when the popular square was relatively less crowded compared to the rest of the day.
— Hurriyet Daily News (@HDNER) 13 Janvier 2016
Tourist sites including the Hagia Sophia and the nearby Basilica Cistern were closed by the Istanbul Governor’s Office following the attack.
Sultanahmet (Hippodrone) is a popular tourist destination in Istanbul. It is home to both the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said all victims killed in the Sultanahmet suicide attack were foreigners while the suicide bomber was an ISIL militant.
— GOSSIP ROOM (@GossipRoomOff) 12 Janvier 2016
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) 12 Janvier 2016
Libération , a left-wing french journal, says that Turkey has become now the powder key.
” For a long time , the Turkish Islamic- conservative government considered that the jihadists were very effective fighters against Bashar Assad’s regime , whose reversal was their priority, but also against the Kurds ,” who emphasizes that Ankara has” really started to fight the Islamic state since last summer “
For the French RFI , it analyses that while Erdogan was obsessed with the reversal of Bashar Assad’s regime ,he played with fire by supporting hostile armed organizations in Syria. Today, is one of those organizations that Erdogan supported and armed that still strikes once Turkey in its own territory .
Turkey was seen by the West for a longtime as a model combining Islam , democracy and economic dynamism under Recep Tayyip Erdogan but now seems to gradually drift into the worst violence country in Europe between authoritarianism and growing power.
— Europe 1 (@Europe1) 12 Janvier 2016
The European Union quickly responded to the ISIS attack on Turkey, which aspires to become a member of the EU. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Frederica Mogherini, issued a statement that expressed solidarity with the Turkish government and people in the battle against “terrorism.”
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) 12 Janvier 2016
“The EU and Turkey stand united against all forms of terrorism. The fight against terrorism was recognized as a priority at the EU-Turkey Summit on 29 November 2015 and we must step up our efforts in this regard in full respect of our obligations under international law, including human rights and humanitarian law,” the statement read.
United States State Department spokesman John Kirby later stated that the Obama administration had issued a condemnation of the attack and had reaffirmed its “strong commitment to work with Turkey, a NATO ally and valued member.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “solidarity” with Turkey and added that Berlin would put up a determined fight against terror.
“We feel a sense of solidarity with Turkey,” she said, adding that those who carry out such attacks, be it in Paris, or Copenhagen or Istanbul, have the same target – “our free life and free society”.
The blind revenge of ISIS against the Turkish Democracy and the role of Kurds
During the past and since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, ISIS terrorists benefited from a form of complacency from Turkey. It is through its territory and porous border they have passed and continue to do so in order to join their ” Syrian sanctuary” .
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) 12 Janvier 2016
The new “sultan ” is now caught up in the consequences of his blaster policy, both the Syrian conflict & the Kurdish question. For both Turkey’s problems Turkey is now forced to act with weapons.
“There is no Kurdish problem but only a terrorist problem,” Erdogan repeats . However, the military option is a dead end , even as Kurdish population demands to see its fully recognized collective rights , including their culture and autonomy . Never in forty years , the Turkish state has managed to “eradicate” the PKK. But today , this party is militarily and politically strengthened with the new situation created by the Syrian conflict . Kurdish fighters are currently the only real allies of the international coalition against ISIS as they fight on the ground.
Turkey from regional superpower has now become a regional victim
If militarily arrangements have been taken by Turkey regarding ISIS, questions always arise as to the oil smuggling of ISIS through Turkey. The organization Islamic State makes big earning through its oil activities . Part of this oil passes through Turkey.
Turkey’s border with Syria is around 900 km long and it is impossible for Turkey to monitor all crossing points. To resolve this issue Turkey would like the creation of a control zone on its border. Some experts say that Ankara has even negotiated the establishment of such a zone with the United States against giving the permission to the United States to use its air bases in Incirlik for conducting airstrikes in Syria.
If this project succeeds, Turkey could also use this area in order to curb any possible Kurdish expansion. I need to say that large areas in Syria in the north of the country are now under Kurdish control since they have started fighting ISIS. As it occurs often in the Middle East , alliances do not obey any classical geopolitical scheme . Theoretically, the Kurds and Turkey are on the same side as they fight ISIS both. However, until today, Turkey refuses to bury the hatchet with the Kurds . Low level guerrilla warfare between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish army is spreading across Kurdish areas of south east Turkey.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) 8 Janvier 2016
For the English Independent online, Turkey is becoming a more dangerous place, but then so is the Middle East and North Africa and anywhere Isis can send its suicide squads. Turkey has been unenthusiastically sending planes to bomb Isis targets in Syria, under pressure from the US, and has arrested members of Isis cells inside Turkey. The government may not have done very much, but this is very different from the years when Isis volunteers were able to cross unimpeded the Turkish-Syrian border to reach the Islamic State.
— CSIS (@CSIS) 13 Janvier 2016
Image credit: via
@reuterspictures on Twitter (caption)
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) 12 Janvier 2016