The speculation that Turkey has been doing oil business with the deadly Islamic States’ terrorist organization has been gaining grounds for some time now. Leading US newspapers, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, six months ago wrote about oil ties between Turkey and ISIS. Recently, other Western publications, The Guardian and The Financial Times joined in making serious allegations, writing in detail about the illicit oil business between the government of Turkey and ISIS.
The most damning of the allegations against Turkey so far is the recent one by the Russian government. Moscow pointedly accused the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan of complicity in illegal oil deals with ISIS. Russia insisted that the family of Turkey president is fully involved in the business that brings in huge revenue for the terrorists to finance their nefarious activities and enormous wealth to the family of Turkey President.
Moscow said there are three routes of oil supply by ISIS from Syria to Turkey. The western route out to the Turkish ports on the Mediterranean coast, the northern route leads to the refinery in Patma and the eastern route which leads to a transit base in the village of Dzhazri. After a smooth crossing from the Syrian-Turkish border ISIS oil tankers go to ports and ships are sent for processing in a third country.
As a proof, Russia provided aerial picture of the movement of oil in tankers and pipe which was shown to the whole world to see. The detailed reports by the Russian Defense Ministry and other sources have revealed the major source of funding for terrorist organizations in the area. In fact, The Daily Beast, an American newspaper pointedly accused Turkey of supporting terrorism.
Satellite images show that hundreds of tankers from areas controlled by militant Islamic State on the border with Turkey, disguised as trucks carry up to 200, 000 barrels of oil per day. Oil revenues are not only to enrich the leadership of Turkey, but also a source of supply of arms to the fighters.
ISIS in Syria and Iraq earns huge amount of money from the sale of thousands of tons of fuel to neighboring Turkey. The revenue is used to finance terrorism across the globe including recruitment of fighters and suicide bombers. The Syria oil comes from oil fields near the city of Raqqa in Syria. From there it is taken to the border regions of Turkey and sent through pipes or plastic barrels. The smuggling of fuel is confirmed by a documents published on the eve of the arrival US Defense Secretary, Chuck Heygela, to Turkey.
Mahmoud Tan, a lawyer from the opposition Republican People’s Party, tried in vain to get a comment on the publication of the daily transit of 4,000 tons of fuel that brings Islamists to $ 15 million income per month. According to him, the fact of the smuggling activities and lack of effective counter-measures by the Turkish authorities to prevent it are clear evidence of the support that ISIS continues to enjoy from the Turkish authorities. Otherwise, how can the blind eye turned to the smuggling by the Turkey government be explained?
Russian Ministry of Defence said there are clear evidences that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and members of his family are involved in the illegal oil business from the border towns captured by the Islamic states from the Syrian fields. There are revelations of state assistance to smugglers who sell a liter of smuggled fuel at $ 0.70 per liter, while the official price in Turkey is $ 1.85 per litre. According to a former military officer, Dzhelaladdinu Yavuz, smugglers are having a field day in Turkish border villages while the authorities turn a blind eye to what is happening.
By the most conservative estimates, revenues from the criminal business activities accounted for not less than three million dollars a day. After the commencement of the Russian air strikes on targets the revenue is said to have been reduced to about $ 1.5 million a day. This was confirmed by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on November 30 at the Paris conference, that Russia’s Su-24 bomber attack has scuttled oil supply from the Islamic state to Turkey.
Earlier on November 27, the Syrian Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi said that the Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down by the Turkish Air Force in the interest of the company President Erdogan’s son that has allegedly been benefiting from the oil business with ISIS. Media reports also allege that the Governor of Hatay region in Turkey accommodates more than a hundred ISIS militants in hotels in Reyhanli, a border Turkish city has not been denied. These ISIS members later go back to launch attacks on Syria. In addition, wounded members of ISIS are said to be enjoying medical treatment in Turkish public hospitals.
All these allegations, no matter how they sound, go to prove that the danger inherent in terrorism has not found any meaning in the activities of some countries that claim to be in the vanguard of fighting terrorism. The need for a collective and genuine effort to fight terrorism need be stressed all the time. There is no denying the fact that ISIS poses the greatest danger to world peace today.
Either in Europe or Africa, ISIS and its affiliate terrorist organizations have successfully thrown a knockout punch that has ridiculed the security apparatus of many nations. Millions have been killed or maimed with millions thrown out as internally displaced people or refugees in foreign land. France and Nigeria can bear testimony to this. The world need to work together to take this cup away. Genuine involvement of Turkey is needed in this fight against terrorism.

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