Turkey is officially a Western powers’ ally in the fight against ISIS. Nevertheless, we have seen that many facts suggest a different reality. The reason of a plausible tacit complicity between the Turkish government and the Islamic State lies on the Kurdish people. Indeed, the Kurds have always been perceived by Turkey as a great threat, especially after the PKK started to engage in a terrorist war against the government in 1984. To President Erdogan they clearly represent an obsession, and he’s ready to do whatever is needed to prevent them from getting a possible independence, including a secret collusion with ISIS.
His ambiguous attitude has risen after all the terrorist attacks occurred in Turkey so far, for example. In these cases, Erdogan has never taken a firm position against ISIS. On the contrary, he has always tried to seize the opportunity and condemn the Kurds, if possible.
Another fact is that even though Turkey has a strong army and a long sealed border with Syria, it has never tried to stop ISIS from replenishing its ranks, while it has always prevented the Kurds from crossing that border. If it can do it with the Kurds, there is no reason to think that it cannot do the same with the Islamic State’s militants.
We have also seen how at the end of last year Russia tried to show to the Western powers that Erdogan has an illegal oil trade with ISIS. President Putin affirmed, among the other things, that the shooting down of the Russian warplane on November 24 was motivated by a will of protecting the traffic.
Both Erdogan and the US denied all the Russian accusations and labelled them as ridiculous, even though it’s quite hard to really believe that the US is completely unaware of this very probable collusion.
Nevertheless, things are changing. After Russia delivered a letter on March to the UN Security Council reporting many facts that should prove an illegal oil trade between Turkey and ISIS, several different countries in the Council are considering them seriously, according to strategic analyst Tugce Varol.
The accusations reported in the letter, added to the fact that Russia wants to upgrade this case international, leave little doubt that a secret collusion between Turkey and the Islamic State is a real possibility that cannot be ignored anymore.