The other day I implicitly speculated that the bombs that slaughtered close to a hundred Kurds at a protest in Ankara, Turkey on Saturday might have been placed there and detonated by the self-proclaimed Islamist regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which has always hated and been at war with its Kurdish minority. Interestingly, that regime is now fingering the Islamic State as the prime suspects:
Turkey's government said on Monday the Islamic State was the prime suspect in suicide bombings that killed at least ninety-seven people in Ankara, but opponents vented anger at President Tayyip Erdogan at funerals, universities and courthouses.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday's bombing, the worst of its kind on Turkish soil, was intended to influence the outcome of November polls Erdogan hopes will restore the AK party he founded to an overall parliamentary majority. There is no question of postponing the vote, officials have said.
"It was definitely a suicide bombing," Davutoglu said in an interview broadcast live on Turkey's NTV. "DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there. We're close to a name, which points to one group."
As I scoffed on Saturday, suicide bombers couldn't lift the quantity of explosives needed to massacre almost a hundred people at once. I find that explanation highly questionable as well as awfully convenient for the Erdoğan government.
Then I remembered a story from a year ago:
The Turkish hostages in question were captured at their country's Mosul consulate when ISIS took the city back on June 11th. They've ostensibly been collective leverage against the Turks providing bases from which U.S. aircraft can bomb Islamic State positions in Syria and/or Iraq, or, if it was conceivable (which it isn't) bases from which the U.S. could re-invade Iraq or invade Syria. Now, 102 days later, ISIS releases all 49 of their Turkish hostages, leading to the straightforward, logical question: Why did they do so?
Perhaps the Turkish government paid the Islamic State a substantial ransom. Problem is, the Turks vehemently deny doing so. So what persuaded ISIS to let them go? The Turkish government also says that the hostage release was secured through the efforts of its intelligence agency, not any direct special forces action or diplomatic negotiation. What were the details of that? The Turks aren't saying, other than that they were "intense efforts". So, again, if they were liberated by force, what persuaded ISIS to turn the Turkish hostages loose?
Was it threats? Hard to believe there's any threat that could intimidate a jihadist band that embraces death as a sacred honor and duty. So if it wasn't threats and it wasn't coercion and it wasn't force and it wasn't a payoff, what's left? Well, the Latin term for it would be quid pro quo. The Turks must have offered ISIS something they wanted in exchange for the hostages. Was it a promise to not oppose ISIS or aid in attacks against them in exchange for Turkish territory being left alone - in essence, a non-aggression pact similar to the one ISIS inked this week with the so-called "Free Syrian Army"? Now we're probably getting warm.
But let's take it one step further still. Harken back to the lede above: Turkey is run by a self-proclaimed Islamist regime. Ahmet Davutoglu, sworn in as Prime Minister just three weeks ago, was Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Foreign Minister, and succeeded him in the premiership only because Erdoğan elevated himself to the Turkish presidency. Consequently Davutoglu is most likely a figurehead and Erdoğan's lapdog. This hostage release puts a big feather in his hat at the same time. Meanwhile Erdoğan, who harbors dreams of reviving the old Ottoman Empire and is hostile to the West, has no reason to cooperate with the Obama Regime's faux efforts to "curb" ISIS and every reason to make clandestine common cause with the group. Perhaps Erdoğan made a deal with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that they will jointly run the Global Caliphate from Ankara. That would be a helluva better deal than he could ever get from Turkey's years-long, frustrated, and ultimately unrequited efforts to join the European Union, a jilting that alienated the Turks and pushed them in the direction of electing an Islamist like Erdoğan in the first place.
It's like the Bowe Bergdahl debacle - it just doesn't smell right. ISIS capturing forty-nine Turkish "infidels" and not beheading them as fast as their scimitars could slice & dice? And if you argue that ISIS recognized them as fellow Sunni Muslims, then why did they take them hostage in the first place? And now there's a huge bombing in Ankara that just happens to target a protest from the minority group the Turkish government wants to wipe out, and with which ISIS is already at war, and that Turkish government conveniently fingers the same jihadist group that helpfully and obediently released forty-nine Turkish hostages without incident and with not a single hair harmed on any of their heads. Sorry, but I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.
If there are such things as turnip trucks. Just as well if there isn't, since I can't stand turnips in any case.
I think Ankara and Mosul have a clandestine alliance of convenience, and in this instance the Islamic State is providing plausible cover for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's explosive ploy to stir up up nationalist, anti-Kurdish sentiment.
And to, you know, blow up a bunch of Kurds real good.
Let's see what the Turks do next vis-a-vie ISIS. That, it seems to me, will tell the real tale.