Turkey brushes off ISIL threat to 'liberate' Istanbul

The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said that they would invade Istanbul should Turkey continue to hold water in the Euphrates river via the Ataturk dam.

Turkey brushes off ISIL threat to 'liberate' Istanbul

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey doesn't take threats made by the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) concerning the Ataturk dam seriously, said Turkish energy minister on Monday in Ankara, responding to a warning issued by the ISIL that they would invade Istanbul should Turkey continue to hold water in the Euphrates river in southeastern Turkey via the Ataturk dam.

In the first part of a five-episode documentary about the Islamic State - formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Levant or ISIL - published on Saturday by Vicenews - an international news website - a spokesman, Abu Musad, openly threatens to invade Istanbul if Turkey doesn't open the Ataturk dam and allow water to flow downstream in order to reach Islamic State-controlled areas in Iraq.

He tells the correspondent: "If they do not consider it now, we will consider it for them by liberating Istanbul."

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz replied: "Turkey makes its own decisions about energy policy. I do not take it seriously as Turkey sees Baghdad as the partner to negotiate with."

He added that Ataturk dam currently produces 1200 megawatts of electricity. The dam sits on the Euphrates river and was built in 1990.

Armed groups linked to the ISIL captured the regions of Sinjar and Rabia in the northern Nineveh province of Iraq last week following fierce clashes that forced thousands of Iraqis including Turkmen, Arabs and Ezidis to flee.

The violence in Iraq escalated in early June after a coalition of armed groups linked to the Islamic State took control of large swathes of the country's predominantly Sunni provinces.

ISIL fighters also seized 49 Turkish consulate staff, including the consul-general and family members, in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Moreover, 31 Turkish truck drivers were also abducted in early June.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ağustos 2014, 09:29
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