WASHINGTON – The release by ISIS of 49 Turkish diplomats under mysterious circumstances raises further concern that Ankara’s cooperation with the jihadist army could be part of a quiet plan to re-establish the Ottoman Empire, according to some Middle East experts, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Ankara already has allowed ISIS jihadist fighters to enter Syria, launder millions of dollars a day and sell oil taken from occupied Iraq.
Turkey said that through “diplomacy” and “negotiation” it was able to obtain the release of diplomats captured when ISIS took over Mosul last June. While Ankara initially denied that it paid any ransom or exchanged any prisoners for the diplomats, ISIS now claims Turkey has released 180 of its fighters, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Ankara had used the hostage issue as a reason to deny a U.S. request either to get directly involved in attacking ISIS positions in Syria or to allow the U.S. to use Incirlik Air Base to launch attacks.
With its main excuse removed, some Middle East experts believe Sunni Turkey’s ulterior motive is to quietly work with the Sunni ISIS to reestablish the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey recently encouraged its businesses to invest in ISIS-occupied Iraq.
Energy-hungry Turkey continues to buy oil from ISIS produced from captured Iraqi oil wells for less than half of market value. Much of the ISIS oil goes to Turkish companies, providing ISIS with some $3 million a day to help fund its expansionist activities.
Turkey’s minister of economy, Nihat Zeybekci, is encouraging Turkish businesses to invest in ISIS-occupied portions of Iraq, and ISIS has openly extended invitations to Turkish businesses.
“Our exports to Iraq are now down to 35 percent, but Iraq cannot easily substitute other sources,” Neybekci said. “We think there will be a boom in demand soon. We also know that [ISIS] is contacting individual Turkish businessmen and telling them, ‘Come back, we won’t interfere.’ That is not easy, of course. But when the future Iraq is rebuilt, it will be Turkey doing it.”