News & Politics

Terror Attack at Istanbul Airport Proves Turkey Is Losing the Battle Against ISIS

Turkish rescue services carry a victim from the scene of a blast outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

As PJ Media reported yesterday, Atatürk Airport in Istanbul was hit by several suicide bombers. Before they set off their bombs, they shot at innocent passengers with semi-automatic weapons. According to the latest reports, at least 36 and possibly as many as 50 people have died.

Although one news outlet reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, that report has not yet been confirmed. Even if ISIS doesn’t claim responsibility, however, everything about this attack has “ISIS” written all over it. First, it was yet another attack on an airport. Second, the terrorists use semi-automatic rifles and suicide bombs. Third, once again innocent civilians were their target. Although the PKK and PKK-affiliated TAK also regularly carry out attacks in Turkey, they tend to strike at government targets such as soldiers and police officers. ISIS, on the other hand, always tries to kill as many innocent and unarmed civilians as possible.

Small wonder then that the Turkish government is holding ISIS responsible.

And that is pretty discomforting, especially for people like me who live in Turkey. In the last couple of years, ISIS has used the border crisis with Syria to smuggle as many jihadists into Turkey as possible. These Muslim extremists — there may be thousands of them in Turkey — have stood ready to carry out terror attacks. Some of them have, thankfully, been prevented, but the authorities can’t possibly monitor every single ISIS sympathizer in Turkey.

This means that Turkey has a very serious problem.

Of course, President Erdoğan’s horrendous Syria policies have partially created or at least worsened this problem. His administration has, for years, sent weapons and money to “rebel groups” in Syria, many of whom are Islamic radicals. Erdoğan could have closed down the border immediately after the “Syrian civil war” started, but he chose to keep the border open as long as possible. This enabled ISIS and other radical Islamic organizations to smuggle fighters into Turkey.

Those jihadists are now calmly awaiting orders. They struck yesterday and are sure to strike again. That’s bad enough. What’s even worse is that because of Erdoğan’s failed policies, Turkey can do little to nothing about it. This country has become a sitting duck.