Claims of allocation of camps to ISIL in Istanbul spark debate
The related video was released through a Turkish website administered by a group apparently close to ISIL.
The release of a video allegedly showing a group of jihadists gathered for prayer in the rural part of Istanbul has sparked concerns in Turkey.
The video has prompted deputy Sezin Tanrıkulu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to question whether the gathering took place upon consent from both the police department and the Gendarmerie Command.
“Is the claim that the group alleged to have been the Turkey-branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] has been allocated a campground or other places in Istanbul? Who is this group? Of whom does it consist?” asked Tanrıkulu in a motion filed to the parliamentary speaker’s office on July 30 in order to be answered by Interior Minister Efkan Ala.
Tanrıkulu asked for the locations of the camps if the claim was true and added: “Where is the field where the group, alleged to be the Turkey-extension of ISIL, used for holiday celebration that it organized in Istanbul on July 28, to which hundreds of people attended, as openly seen in the photographs?”
The related video was released through a Turkish website administered by a group apparently close to ISIL. According to the website, the group gathered in the rural part of Istanbul for prayer and celebrations on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, July 28.
Tanrıkulu also asked whether it is true that the group “declared jihad in Turkey on July 28,” and whether the field in the footage was being used by the group for military training.
“Did the organization ask for permission, arranged in the name of holiday celebrations? Which authorities granted the group official permission? Why weren’t these people directed to mosques for Eid prayer, but were let to organize a holiday celebration in a field? What were the Istanbul Provincial Police Department and Provincial Gendarmerie Command doing during the hours when the group, which is the extension of the ISIL terrorist organization, was calling for jihad in Istanbul? Is it true that Istanbul Provincial Police Department and Gendarmerie Command were ordered not to interfere when the group, the extension of a terrorist organization, was calling for jihad in Istanbul? Who gave these orders?” Tanrıkulu asked.
ISIL recently renamed itself simply as the Islamic State (IS). The IS stormed the Turkish Consulate-General on June 10 and has since been holding all 49 there hostage, including Turkey’s Consul General Özturk Yılmaz.