Turkey: ISIS’s Hostage Again

In March 2014, Turkey’s main opposition social democratic party submitted a parliamentary motion to investigate alleged failings of safety standards at a coalmine in Soma, in western Turkey. The ruling Islamist party’s parliamentary majority voted to reject it. Less than two months later the same coalmine exploded, killing more than 300 miners.

In February 2015, an opposition member of parliament, Nazmi Gur, from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) filed a parliamentary motion, asking for an inquiry into the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Islamic State, ISIS, IS) inside Turkey. The next day, the motion was rejected by the same government benches, and led Gur to decry the vote as “a sign that the Turkish government still refrains from taking a clear position against ISIS.” Half a year later, an IS suicide bomber murdered 32 people in an attack against a pro-Kurdish gathering, in a Turkish town bordering Syria.