Turkey performed a minor miracle when it managed to save 49 of its hostages from the hands of one of the world's most brutal terrorist groups, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
It was a stunning diplomatic victory for Turkey as it plucked the hostages from the hands of extremists and brought them back to a rousing welcome on Saturday.
A total of 46 hostages, which included members of the Turkish consulate in Mosul and their dependents, were sneaked out of Mosul in a surgical operation performed by the Turkish Intelligence Organization (MİT) and carried across Syria into Turkey in a roundabout way for security considerations. The other three hostages, who were local employees, were reunited with their relatives in Iraq.
It is a wonderful achievement to get them back in one piece. It is an even greater achievement that not one of the hostages had been harmed despite the rough conditions they were subjected to in the 101 days that they were held in captivity.
All of this is thanks to the unity and solidarity displayed by the hostages while Ankara exhausted all its resources and assets in the region to have them freed.
We should also be thankful to the Turkish government for its cool and level-headed approach, which was the key to this success.
Special thanks should go to the leadership displayed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister throughout most of this ordeal, and to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was foreign minister.
The Foreign Ministry, the MİT, the Office of the Prime Minister and, last but not least, the Turkish military who played a major role in this successful operation and proved what the new Turkey is capable of achieving. This once again highlights the fact that Turkey is a major power in the region, whose friendship should be held in high esteem and whose enmity should be dreaded. It also shows friends and foes alike that Turkey has the diplomatic and political capacity to manage the most intricate situations in the region, and thus should be carefully listened to when major powers want to flex their muscles against ISIS. The western powers want to beat ISIS with the use of brute force… Can this be done?
Turkey feels such an attempt may be futile and ill conceived. After all the Americans have made a mess of the Iraqi situation before, not to mention the fiasco in Afghanistan that is a source of great frustration for NATO.
Turkey wants to end the brutality of ISIS but it does not feel that the tactics used by the coalition forces, spearheaded by the Americans, will actually do the trick.
Turkey feels that finishing off ISIS's local forces, which help the extremists, have to be persuaded that what they are doing is not only pushing the region into turmoil but it is also bringing the good name of Islam into disrepute.
It is true that ISIS is being fed by external recruits from all over the world but this also means that the Western powers have to sit down and do some deep thinking about the injustices, discrimination and indifference that they have perpetuated that has encouraged this process.
Turkey does not want a half solution where the Americans and their Western allies will eventually give up and go home and the regional countries will be left to face ISIS and its extremists.