Although Turkey is a NATO member, she has always supported the jihad in the North Caucasus.
The Turks have never openly supported the jihad, but always tried to use the jihad and jihadis for their own interests. And many Muslims made their way from Turkey to the Mujahideen, joining the jihad in Chechnya and Dagestan.
Many of the wounded jihadists received treatment in Turkish hospitals. And for many of them, that country became a refuge from persecution. There has been a great deal of Turkish emigration to Europe and other countries.
Confirmation of all this are certain telling facts. Three official representative of the leader of the Caucasus jihadists, Doku Umarov, were killed in Istanbul on September 16, 2011.
Until recently, Turkey tried to pursue a balanced policy between NATO and the Islamic world. However, Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and his team are now seeking new contacts and relationships in the Islamic world.
Turkey had to enlist the support of its neighbors in order to begin openly to promote its ambitions in the Islamic world and the region.
Over the last year the Turks have made great strides in the region. They rendezvoused with Georgia and Iran, securing a secure Eastern border. They started a few ambitious energy projects. And they began to build a railroad that will connect them with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. This railroad completely changes the balance of power in the region.
I remember that I was told about a meeting that was supposed to ensure a steady supply of arms to the North Caucasian Mujahideen. A former military man, a Turkish citizen, promised to give the Mujahideen weapons seized from the Kurdish fighters. This project failed. The Mujahideen were wronged by the Turkish military, and said that as long as Turkey does not become an Islamic state, the Turkish military cannot be trusted.
After Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly began the Islamization of Turkey, the jihadists found fertile ground there. Turkey appeared ambitious to become the leader of Islam in the region.
Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davidoglu began to make up for lost time, and to prove their commitment to Islam, they began to support a terrorist organization, IHH. They began to advocate for the recognition of Palestine and began to speak openly against Israel.
An interesting fact is that Turkey has a problem of separatism, and not in its interest to support separatists elsewhere. In spite of this, the Turkish establishment is exacerbating relations with its former partner, Israel.
Turkey, like Iran, now has a real chance after the “Arab Spring” to gain prestige and influence extending to northern Africa.
The trend that we observe in the Caucasus, Turkey and North Africa, clearly proves that what has happened in these regions should not be called “Arab Spring”; it should be called “Islamic Spring,” or better, as it says in the Qur’an, Jihad.
Hundreds of Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and many Asian countries are now being sent to Turkey under the guise of being tourists. The bulk of these so-called tourists are men between the ages of 18 and 40. According to them, they’re going to rest on the Mediterranean Sea, close to the border with Israel.