What now, after the hostages are freed?

What now, after the hostages are freed?

Before anything else, the rescue of our 49 citizens who were taken hostage while at our Mosul Consulate is an achievement of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). It is clear that the MİT has formed a wide and successful intelligence network in Iraq and Syria, and the hostages who were moved eight times were continuously monitored. 

Each move was briefed to the Office of the Chief of General Staff. Secret teams operating in the field followed them. If there was an attempt of an “executing” our citizens, these teams were given orders to intervene with arms.

The Sunni tribes who could be influential over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were mobilized by the MİT. During intelligence gathering, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles were used.

As a result of an agreement, the MİT oversaw the transportation of our citizens being held hostage in Mosul to Telafer, then to Raqqa in Syria, and then to Akçakale in Turkey.

This is an achievement good enough for an action movie.

Of course there is a “political negotiation” side to it. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already expressed this. He recalled that Turkey was only providing “humanitarian support” to the coalition led by the U.S. against ISIL, perhaps indicating what the political negotiation was.

On pro-ISIL websites, there are stories stating that the hostages were freed after the Turkish government announced that it will not participate in the coalition against ISIL.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s newspapers in Turkey all noted that the hostage negotiations with ISIL were concluded on Sept. 13, and that Turkey had not signed the communique issued on Sept. 12 after the “coalition” meeting held in Jeddah. 

Obviously, ISIL agreed to free the hostages the next day. As it took time for them to come to Turkey, our citizens entered our country on the night of Sept. 20.

The deal is obviously this: You give me back my 49 citizens; I will not sign the deal…

I think this deal, which has saved the lives of our 49 citizens, is correct.

Pressure on Turkey

However, now the pressure on Turkey to join the military coalition against ISIL will increase. Articles of this kind have started appearing in the Western media. Not long ago, Selahattin Demirtaş wanted Turkey to take action without thinking of the safety of our hostages; now, since the hostages are saved, he wants Turkey to help the People’s Protection Units (PYD) fighting ISIL.

I don’t think that the negotiations with ISIL were only about not signing the Jeddah declaration. The deal is probably also for Turkey to not participate in any land operation against ISIL from now on. For this reason, I don’t think Turkey will change its “only humanitarian aid” policy.

The president answered this question by saying the evaluation will be made depending on developments. That means that if ISIL engages in activities harming Turkey, then Turkey may join the military coalition. Otherwise, the current policy will continue.

Of course, what needed to be done to save the lives of our 49 citizens has been done, and correctly…  
What needs to be done from now on is for Turkey to get rid of its shy image against the monster ISIL. Ankara should be able to explain its stance to the world thoroughly and mobilize its religious circles in Turkey against the ideology of ISIL.

Most importantly, Turkey has to “restore” its “Western country” image, which has been damaged. After 1.5 million Syrians, the new immigration wave looks as if it will exceed 150,000, which is another indication that problems will grow.

Turkey has to develop a joint language to improve solidarity with the West. It should take serious steps to eliminate the issues continuously criticized regarding democracy and the rule of law.