Turkey, the terrorists’ first target

Two attacks have shaken Turkey in the last 12 days. The first was a police officer, affiliated with the ISIS, killing Russia’s ambassador at an art gallery in Ankara while the second unfolded on New Year’s eve when a terrorist apparently dressed as Santa Claus attacked a night club in Istanbul killing at least 39 and injuring others.

The past year was bloody due to the many acts of terror that targeted Turkey more than other countries. Why was this the case?

Countries such as Jordan have highly developed intelligence and security apparatus that make them a difficult target for terrorists. Yet, ISIS has managed to infiltrate its territories in a not so distant past.

Until two years ago, Turkey was not a target for terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS. Most of its security apparatus’ concern was to follow up on other hostile organizations such as the separatist Kurdish groups.

But eventually, terrorists linked to Islamist organizations found their way into Turkey. Two years ago in January, a pregnant woman blew herself up amid a crowd of visitors at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and it turned out she was Chechen. This was followed by various other attacks.

Then three ISIS fighters carried out a horrific attack on the Ataturk Airport and killed and injured around 190 people. Later, similar casualties were inflicted after a terrorist explosion targeted a stadium in Istanbul. Such attacks have continued in the past few months and they have targeted weddings, police posts, malls and tourist spots.

The question that arises is why does ISIS target Turkey in particular? Are they directed by hostile regimes in the region that have escalated their war against Turkey – like Iran as it has reportedly been claimed – or has ISIS decided to respond to the Turkish government, which launched military operations against its posts inside Syria and Iraq?
Alarabia English

Wednesday, January 4th 2017
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance