Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s government is actively supporting Islamist and terrorist organizations, leaked German intelligence documents reveal.
German intelligence documents call Turkey’s support for Islamists a “deliberate policy.” The support includes “many expressions of solidarity and support actions” for organizations like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian Terrorist Organization Hamas, and Islamic radical groups inside Syria.
The revelation is reportedly the first time the German government confirmed a link between Erdogan’s government and terrorist organizations. Relations between Germany and Turkey are increasingly fraught with tension. Germany and Turkey are central members of NATO, and have clashed recently over free speech. Germany is also home to millions of Turkish migrants.
Turkey shares a border with Syria and is a lynchpin in NATO’s strategy for ISIS. Use of Turkey’s Incrilik airbase to launch airstrikes is key in this strategy, as is Erdogan’s assistance in shutting off the Turkish-Syrian border.
Worse, NATO’s decision-making process is basically consensus driven, giving dissenting voices within the alliance outsized power, much like the UN Security Council. “Turkey basically has veto power and has become a cancer inside NATO at this point,” Dr. Michael Rubin, a middle east security expert, previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The U.S. and NATO have indicated their willingness to stick by Erdogan in the aftermath of the coup attempt, despite his troubling statements. Erdogan has insinuated the U.S. is taking sides with the coup plotters, and accused U.S. Army General Joseph Votel of siding with coup plotters in the Turkish military in late July. Secular elements of the Turkish military attempted a coup against Erdogan on July 15, alleging the Turkish president was amassing too much power and becoming too Islamist.
Active Islamist terror support by a NATO ally could undermine the integrity of the NATO alliance, and even compromise counter-terrorism intelligence sharing among allies. “There’s no question that this is going to set back and make more difficult” the U.S.’s Middle East strategy,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence Eric Clapper told a conference in July.
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