ISIS Calls to ‘Conquer’ Istanbul

A pro-Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist video has urged Turks to rise up against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of being a traitor who has sided with the US.

The video – said to have been recorded in the ISIS-controlled Raqa province of northern Syria – is one of the clearest such threats yet made by ISIS against Turkey. Previously Turkey was shown to be cooperating with ISIS, but recently it started a crackdown on the group following a lethal suicide attack, and likewise has launched a much harsher crackdown on Kurdish militants.

A bearded Turkish member of ISIS is seen in the video, speaking in Turkish and calling for the "conquest" of Istanbul, reports the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

"With the order of the believers’ amir, (ISIS leader – ed.) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – God protect him – who is descended from the Prophet’s line, let’s conquer Istanbul, which the traitor Erdogan makes every effort to deliver to the crusaders," he says in the video message.

The ISIS terrorist accused the "traitor Erdogan" as follows: "he did not rule by the laws of God. He befriended Americans, Jews, crusaders, atheist PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party – ed.) members; Ataturk’s secular friends, the FSA (Free Syrian Army); and the apostate spies of the Saud family."

The terrorist then called on the "people of Turkey to revolt."

He said the west of Turkey would soon be in the hands of "the crusaders," a reference to the Americans, and eastern Anatolia controlled by the PKK. Ironically, Erdogan's critics at home accuse him of ruining ties with the West with nationalist-tinged policies, as well as destroying a 2013 ceasefire with the PKK with Ankara's current air campaign against the group.

The speaker also called on the Turkish people "without losing time" to fight "against the atheists and all those who have made you slaves of these crusaders."

Ankara has long been accused of not doing enough in the fight against ISIS fighters and even collaborating with the group, after documents showed it provided vital funds by buying black market ISIS oil over the border.

But Turkey last month finally carried out its first air strikes against the jihadists and opened one of its key bases to US forces for lethal attacks on ISIS targets. 

Turkey's action followed a bomb blast in the mainly Kurdish town of Suruc near the Syrian border last month that killed 33 people and was blamed by Ankara on the Islamic State group.

AFP contributed to this report.


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