Had the international community been able to intervene in Syria early enough to stop the Damascus regime, which has caused the deaths of 300,000 Syrians, the majority of whom are civilians, we would not be experiencing the current pains. Indeed, the region is witnessing more and more deaths and mass flows of migration with every passing day. And some terror organizations are attempting to obtain territorial dominance in this chaotic atmosphere in Syria. Certainly, those who suffer most from these clashes are the civilians who live on a razor's edge. One of the most severe clashes is the struggle between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) over territorial dominance. The fact that they aim at groups such as Turkmens and Yazidis raises the concern of "ethnic cleansing."
Ankara has had a clear attitude on the Syrian crisis since the very beginning and wants the removal of the Damascus regime. Like the U.S. and Europe, it supports the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which encapsulates all political tendencies in Syria. Moreover, it is training FSA fighters who fight against the dictatorial president, Bashar Assad, and ISIS, as a part of a train-and-equip program initiated with the U.S. on its own soils. Despite this attitude, which has international legitimacy, Ankara is facing unfair accusations from some groups in the region. The PKK terror organization, which is the Turkish affiliate of the PYD, is taking the lead in such accusations along with its legal wing, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The PKK, which has been waging an implicit civil war against the Turkish state for over 30 years, and the HDP are running an intensive manipulation campaign in order to mobilize sympathizers and voters within the country. They assert that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government supports ISIS, which is fighting against the PYD in the region.
However, the facts on the ground indisputably show the opposite of such claims. Turkey is the first country that was attacked by ISIS and declared it a terror organization with a Cabinet decision in 2013. Furthermore, it consolidated its attitude by striking an ISIS convoy. ISIS militants seized the Turkish consulate in Mosul and took 49 of its staff hostage for one hundred days. While clashes were continuing between ISIS and the PYD in Kobani, Ankara allowed peshmerga troops from northern Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to cross through Turkey with their arms to fight ISIS. It treated PYD members and civilians who were injured during clashes in Turkish hospitals. Moreover, it is still hosting more than 100,000 civilians who fled the clashes in Kobani and took refuge in Turkey. It also sent 2,000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Kobani, which is controlled by PYD and attacked by ISIS.
While there is such a clear picture, what logic can explain the claims that Turkey supports ISIS? Another deplorable aspect of the issue is that Western media organizations, which are enthusiastic about guerilla romanticism in the Middle East, are jumping on these lies. They are all preoccupied with the possibility of a military operation that has been discussed in Ankara for a few days. They strive to prevent possible measures that Turkey will take if Turkmens, who are forced to migrate by the PYD, pile up on Turkey's border to be taken in. Does Turkey not have the right to take measures in a region where it has a border of hundreds of kilometers, while the U.S. becomes a party to the question coming from thousands of kilometers away and conducts airstrikes there? Ankara says that it will protect its internal and external security alone. It also says that it makes all kinds of preparations against the developments that threaten civilian elements in the region and it can exercise its rights that arise from international agreements and the rules of engagement. This is the right of any independent state, is it not?