Moon of Alabama — March 20, 2019
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand to whip up support for local elections in Turkey:
It begins with dramatic music, edited in for effect.
Then stills of the manifesto posted by the gunman in New Zealand before his terror attack, highlighting and translating the sections targeting Turkey.
The video streamed live by the attacker comes next, shooting his way into a Christchurch mosque, before blurred images with the sound of automatic gunfire.
And then a cut to Turkey’s opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, talking of “terrorism rooted in the Islamic world”.
The crowd boos wildly, galvanised by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has now shown the footage during at least eight election rallies.
In a Washington Post op-ed published today Erdogan goes further.
Erdogan compares the Australian terrorist who killed 50 people in a mosque in Christchurch with the Islamic State:
The Christchurch massacre’s alleged perpetrator attempted to legitimize his twisted views by distorting world history and the Christian faith. He sought to plant seeds of hate among fellow humans.
In this regard, we must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts in Turkey, France, Indonesia and elsewhere.
There is of course a big difference. While the murderer in New Zealand, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, visited fascist groups in many countries including Turkey, he was not part of a larger organization or even a terrorist state. There is no evidence so far that he had any big sponsors.
The Islamic State and the ten-thousands of fanatics who established it had by contrast a large sponsor who enabled its killings.
His name is Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Researchers of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) recently interviewed an ISIS emir, Abu Mansour al Maghrebi, who essentially served as the ISIS ambassador to Turkey. Abu Mansour, an electric engineer from Morocco, was captured 1.5 years ago and is held in Iraq:
“My job in Raqqa was dealing with the international cases,” Abu Mansour al Maghrebi recalls of his three years serving ISIS. “My issue [duties] was our [Islamic State’s] relationship with Turkish intelligence. Actually, this started when I was working at the borders,” he explains, harking back to the first job he undertook for ISIS before becoming an ISIS emir and, seemingly, their ambassador to Turkey.
“[My job was] guarding the borders between Syria and Turkey and to receive the fighters,” Abu Mansour explains, smiling at being recognized as more powerful than he was originally conveying. “I oversaw reception at Tal Abyad, Aleppo, Idlib, all their borders,” he answers.
Some 40,000 foreign fighters came to Syria via Turkey. Most of them joined the Islamic State. It was also Turkey that cared for wounded ISIS fighters: