On the occasion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presentation tomorrow at the UN General Assembly, the Swedish-based Nordic Research and Monitoring Network (NRMN) has today launched the Turkey-ISIS Research Project.
The Turkey-ISIS Research Project identifies material published by leading organizations, researchers and investigative journalists who have examined connections between the Turkish government, led by an Islamist president, and jihadist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS and other jihadist groups have used Turkey, which has a long, porous border with Syria, as a conduit to bring fighters from all over the world, procure supplies including arms, transport wounded jihadists for treatment and raise funds by well-orchestrated schemes including the smuggling of artifacts and Syrian oil. The evidence shows that the Erdoğan government’s notorious intelligence agency MIT has secretly worked with ISIS and other armed jihadist groups in Syria.
Therefore, NRMN has taken an interest in exposing the reasons for ISIS’s ability to function in the region and has identified the support provided to ISIS by Erdoğan’s Turkey as significant and underreported. For example, senior ISIS figure Ilhami Bali, aka Abu Bakr, the mastermind behind a string of deadly attacks in Turkey in 2015 that killed nearly 200 people including foreign nationals, had been hosted at a five-star hotel in the Turkish capital courtesy of Turkish intelligence agency MIT.
The project focuses on evidence from, inter alia, wiretaps of ISIS communications, the testimony of former ISIS members, leaked Turkish government documents, a secret intelligence communique, CCTV footage and still shots which confirm that Erdoğan’s Turkey supports these groups at home and abroad.
The project hopes to contribute to the debate on ISIS and other jihadist groups that still continue to pose a threat to the national security of many countries around the world.
About Nordic Research Monitoring Network
Nordic Research Monitoring Network is a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness on radical and violent extremist trends, with a specific focus on patterns that may very well disturb and disrupt social peace, harmony and community integration. It hopes to contribute to the debate on how nations should prevent and combat radicalization with close cooperation and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders at all levels of governance including the NGO community and civil society.