Turkey's ruling AKP rejects parliamentary motion to probe ISIL
ANKARAA parliamentary motion asking for an inquiry into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) activities inside Turkey has been rejected by the votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Nazmi Gür, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who forwarded the motion late Feb. 20, said that the result of the parliamentary vote was "a sign that the Turkish government still refrains from taking a clear position against ISIL."
"This policy brings serious risks about Turkey's national security," the main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) deputy Refik Eryılmaz said.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Adnan Çelik, on the other hand, pointed to the Tomb of Süleyman Şah, a formal exclave of Turkey around 25 kilometers from the Turkish border into Syria. "Our soldiers who are on duty at the tomb cannot return, because ISIL besieged the site," he repeated a claim which was refuted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Feb. 20.
Ramazan Can, an AKP deputy, rejected the opposition's criticism about the parliamentary vote, stressing that Turkey recognizes ISIL as a terrorist organization and finds it unacceptable to link the group with Islam.
Turkey's ruling party has a long track record of pushing for its own motions, while rejecting those coming from the opposition even in some issues that it broadly agrees with them. On Feb. 17, the AKP had rejected another HDP parliamentary group motion, which asked for an inquiry into the “parallel structure,” a byword for the movement of U.S. based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the government's ally-turned-nemesis.
Turkish diplomat files complaint against ISIL
Meanwhile, Turkey's former consul-general in Mosul, who spent 101 days in captivity at the hands of ISIL, has filed a criminal complaint against the group.
Consul-General Öztürk Yılmaz recently testified to a Turkish prosecutor, telling that ISIL militants repeatedly attempted to "hurt the pride of Turkish diplomats" who were "shackled and blindfolded" during the episode that started eight months ago, daily Milliyet reported Feb. 21.
46 Turkish citizens and three Iraqi staff were kidnapped on June 11, 2014, by ISIL after the militants seized control of all of Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city. Turkey's hostages were freed Sept. 20 following the Turkish National Intelligence Organization's (MİT) secret operation. Yılmaz was interviewed by Turkish televisions the same day, revealing many details about the challenging weeks that the diplomats lived as hostages of ISIL.
Iraq asks Turkey to be more active against ISIL
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu discussed security and political developments in Iraq and region with Iraqi Vice President Usama al-Nujayfi in a phone call late Feb. 20, according to a statement made by al-Nujayfi's office. The struggle against ISIL was also on the agenda.
"We acknowledge Turkey's support to Iraq against terrorism attacks. We request Turkey's role to be more active," al-Nujayfi said in the statement.
Davutoğlu expressed that Turkey is ready to support Iraq in countering terrorism in versatile ways and invited al-Nujayfi to visit to Turkey for further detailed talks about Turkish-Iraqi bilateral relations and other topics.
Al-Nujayfi accepted Davutoğlu's invitation and is expected to arrive in Turkey in the coming days, according to Anadolu Agency.