Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday furiously denied that his country was assisting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, claiming that the group was damaging the reputation of Islam.
Erdogan on his three-day state visit at the Indonesian capital of Jakarta said our only interest is “Islam and Islam”. He said Turkey had suffered “significant losses” in its battle against terrorists but was determined to keep up the fight, pointing to military operations launched by Ankara in the last few days against the group and Kurdish PKK militants. Erdogan said “dark powers” were spreading misreport about Turkey.
Erdogan said “Never has Turkey been involved in this kind of a scenario… and never will it be.” Turkey was uncertain to take action against IS militants. Turkey’s decision to lump ISIS together with Kurdish forces who bitterly oppose the jihadist group has surprised some Western allies, but NATO this week united behind the alliance’s only Muslim member.
Erdogan also used his speech in Jakarta to criticize countries trying to “pass the blame to Turkey” because they couldn’t keep track of their own citizens travelling abroad to fight with IS militants.