The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke, Part II

Exactly four months ago, I published a post titled “The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke“. Here’s how it began:

After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”

That’s the punchline.

The rest of the post was dedicated to chronicling various instances in which Turkey has, in fact, support a terror organization (Hamas). I am now writing to admit that post was a major mistake: It was written under the assumption that, admittedly, Turkey does not support ISIS, but certainly does support “any terror organization”. But then I came across a Newsweek article from November (yes, Newsweek still exists) that suggests I was being silly. Here’s how it began:

A reluctant former communications technician working for Islamic State, now going by the pseudonym ‘Sherko Omer’, who managed to escape the group, told Newsweek that he travelled in a convoy of trucks as part of an ISIS unit from their stronghold in Raqqa, across Turkish border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.

“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,” said Omer of crossing the border into Turkey, “and they reassured us that nothing will happen, especially when that is how they regularly travel from Raqqa and Aleppo to the Kurdish areas further northeast.”

It’s certainly worth taking “Omer”‘s allegations with a grain of salt. After all, he is Kurdish himself, and probably has no great love of Turkey. But still, his word against the guy who thinks Muslims Columbused America, and I’ll take the pseudonymous former member of ISIS every goddamn time.


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