News & Politics

It Took 54 Dead People, But Turkey Finally Vows to 'Completely Cleanse' Its Border of ISIS Jihadists

Passengers embrace each other as they wait outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday, June 29, 2016 following their evacuation after a blast. Suspected Islamic State group extremists have hit the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing dozens. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ISIS has terrorized the people of Syria and Iraq for literally years. Christians have been subjected to a genocide ever since the Islamic butchers arrived on the scene. What’s more, ISIS has also carried out many terror attacks in other countries, including France, Germany, and Turkey.

Apparently, the latter has finally realized that — perhaps just perhaps — some military action is warranted:

Turkey vowed on Monday to “completely cleanse” Islamic State militants from its border region, after a suspected suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people, including 22 children, at a Kurdish wedding.

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a news conference in Ankara earlier today.

Great as that news is, one has to wonder why Turkey didn’t make this a priority before. After all, ISIS has a long history of committing terrorist attacks in other countries, including Turkey. In October 2015, more than a hundred (!) Kurdish Turks were killed when they were protesting in Ankara. And earlier this year, ISIS carried out a horrific attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, killing dozens.

Why weren’t those terrible attacks sufficient for the Erdogan regime to finally declare war on ISIS and destroy its presence at the Turkish-Syrian border region? Does Minister Cavusoglu care to explain?

What’s more, Turkish government officials have made similar statements after other terrorist attacks, after which they proceeded to do little to nothing. As the Guardian explained in November 2015 (one month after the massive terror attack in Ankara):

In the wake of the murderous attacks in Paris, we can expect western heads of state to do what they always do in such circumstances: declare total and unremitting war on those who brought it about. They don’t actually mean it. They’ve had the means to uproot and destroy Islamic State within their hands for over a year now. They’ve simply refused to make use of it. In fact, as the world watched leaders making statements of implacable resolve at the G20 summit in Antalaya, these same leaders are hobnobbing with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a man whose tacit political, economic, and even military support contributed to Isis’s ability to perpetrate the atrocities in Paris, not to mention an endless stream of atrocities inside the Middle East.

What’s more, the jihadists have even murdered Syrian journalists hiding in Turkey. Instead of focusing on them, Turkey’s intelligence agency (the MIT) has obsessively been rounding up journalists who dared criticize President Erdogan on Twitter.

The time has long since passed for Turkey to actually do something about ISIS’ presence at its border and in Turkey. Pardon me that I take Foreign Minister Cavusoglu’s recent statement with a huge grain of salt. As the saying goes, seeing is believing. Until then, I’ll just assume he only threatens ISIS now because Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey on Wednesday and this is his way of making nice.