Turkey has become “Pakistan on the Mediterranean.” Its diplomats may say one thing to their American counterparts when they condemn terrorism and extremism or speak about the merits of democracy and economic transparency, but the action and behavior of the Turkish leadership is far different.
Both the Iraqi government and the Syrian Kurds who have done more than anyone else to fight the Islamic State have long complained that Turkey was not only turning a blind eye to the most radical groups in Syria, but also actively supporting them.
First, there’s the passive support. If Turkey wanted to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Syria, it could simply tweak its visa rules for those countries that are the source to require visas for those under the age of 40.
This wouldn’t impact most businessmen, but would stop the impulsive Jihadi. It could stop allowing thousands of foreign fighters to traverse its territory virtually unmolested. Stopping two dozen, when more than 100 times as many get a free pass, isn’t counter-terrorism; it is optics, equivalent to when Pakistan arrests a Taliban shadow governor, all the while supporting the rest…
Erdogan & Co — devout Sunnis — dislike the Alawites more the Al Qaeda.