Turkish PM urges Alevi leaders to be alert, while stressing need to eradicate ISIL
DHA photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has urged the Alevi community to be alert against those "who want to make brothers kill each other," while also stressing that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) must be eradicated.
"Daesh has been inflicting a major blow to Islam. It needs to be eradicated since it has been inflicting a major blow to human dignity," Davutoğlu said on Aug. 22 during his speech to Alevi leaders in the capital Ankara, using another acronym for ISIL.
Alevis constitute the second-largest religious community in Turkey after Sunni Muslims. Turkey's Supreme Court ruled on Aug. 17 that Turkish state should cover the expenses of cemevis, Alevi houses of worship.
Avoiding the thorny domestic issue in his speech, Davutoğlu stressed that Islam was a "religion of peace and love," and not what ISIL was trying to portray, which was a picture of "tyranny."
"Cemevis should be seen as the convent of peace. We should all be alert that there might be people who want to make brothers kill each other. It is a duty for us all to stand against whoever attacks us. We should be hand in hand," he added.
In his speech, Davutoğlu also said that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was another evil that needed to be eradicated jointly.
Turkey has stepped up its operations against ISIL following the July 20 deadly suicide bombing in Suruç, a southeastern district of Turkey that killed 34 people, including the suicide bomber. The suicide bombing was blamed on ISIL
Ankara has now also allowed the U.S. to use the İncirlik military base for coalition strikes against ISIL.
U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), told reporters Aug. 21 that the location of İncirlik was "fantastic and strategic" for coalition forces to hit ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq. It is "already proving to be a great effects multiplier on the battlefield," Anadolu Agency quoted Killea as saying.