Turkish journalist Can Dundar, onetime editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, on Sunday accused the Turkish government of “hosting ISIS for years” and “releasing their guerrillas” from captivity.
He urged Turks truly concerned about terrorism to “come together” with the Kurds and fight the Islamic State in a way the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan never will.
Dundar was arrested by the Erdogan government in 2015 for a Cumhuriyet expose that claimed Turkish intelligence was covertly supplying weapons to ISIS in Syria. He and his colleague Erdem Gul were charged with espionage and accused of being terrorists themselves, spending three months in prison before they were released on the orders of a Turkish constitutional court.
Dundar wisely departed for Germany after his release and lives there in exile. Turkish courts eventually changed their minds and retroactively sentenced him to 15 to 20 years in prison for espionage, while Gul was acquitted of his own charges. Turkey issued an arrest warrant for him in absentia and Erdogan demanded his extradition from Germany as a “spy.”
Dundar spoke with Kurdistan 24 news while visiting Washington, DC, to collect a Carnegie Endowment democracy award. He expressed grave doubts that Erdogan’s government could be trusted to respect the Kurdish population of Syria or fight effectively against the Islamic State, pointing to his work at Cumhuriyet to illustrate that Turkey has used ISIS as an instrument of policy in Syria, and is currently allied with Syrian militia groups that are not easy to distinguish from ISIS militants themselves[.] (Read more from “Persecuted Journalist: ‘Turkey Has Been Hosting ISIS for Years’” HERE)