Opening Borders to Extremists Comes Back to Haunt Turkey
Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. He is the author of twenty books, including The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (LeftWord and University of California Press, 2016) and co-editor of Land of Blue Helmets: The UN in the Arab World (University of California Press, 2016) as well as editor of Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation. Vijay is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (leftword.com) and is a columnist for Frontline and AlterNet as well as a frequent contributor to The Hindu, Himal and Counterpunch.
SHARMINI PERIES: So, Vijay, 2016 had been a violent and bloody year for Turkey. Would you put this particular attack in its wider context, of the many attacks that Turkey has experienced this year?
VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, sadly for Turkey the difference between 2016 and 2017 might end up being very little. There was an attack in Turkey on the 11th of December 2016, there was an attack then on New Year’s Eve, and there was an attack, an explosion in Izmir that followed. These attacks, or at least this cycle of attacks in Turkey, began perhaps in the middle of 2015, when there was an attack in Ankara that was linked to the Islamic state. In other words, Islamic state first claimed responsibility for that attack in Ankara, in the middle of 2015.
Since that attack in Ankara in 2015, at very punctual intervals, the Islamic state has struck inside Turkey. And there is, of course, a very straightforward reason why the Islamic state is striking Turkey and why increasingly, I think, we’re going to see other extremist groups, not affiliated with Islamic state striking in Turkey. And that has to do with the fact that Turkey, which had before 2015, been quite liberal with its border, allowing extremists to go across. In fact, not just liberal with its border, but directly providing material support to some extremist groups, mainly in western Syria.CNW, PADemD, broiles and 2 othersMom Cat, bemildred like this
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