US expects Turkey to act on ISIL after hostages freed

“They are committed to doing this, but they first needed to deal with their hostage situation,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

US expects Turkey to act on ISIL after hostages freed

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. will look to Turkey to rise to the challenge posed by the ISIL following the release of Turkish hostages from captivity in Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.

The 49 hostages – including diplomats, consular officials and their families – were kidnapped from the Mosul consulate June 11, a day after ISIL took control of Iraq's second-largest city. Forty-six Turkish hostages among them arrived on Turkish soil following their rescue Saturday.

“They are committed to doing this, but they first needed to deal with their hostage situation,” Kerry said to American news network MSNBC. “Now the proof will be in the pudding, as I said, and we will work with them very closely in the days ahead.”

America's top diplomat said that during meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, "they have absolutely pledged to be effective and to be deeply involved in helping to deal with this challenge."

The U.S. is seeking to build an international coalition to defeat ISIL through an air campaign against the terror group, and a simultaneous effort to train and equip partner forces in Iraq and Syria. So far, the U.S. says that more than 50 states have signed on to the effort.

The coalition partners are expected to meet during the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York City. Kerry said that during the next few days “the strategy will unfold, the participants will unfold, and we really have to just give it a little bit of time.” 

Speaking to the Council of Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank, on Monday in New York, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey has been the target of "baseless" accusations regarding the militant group ISIL and dismissed claims of any oil trade between Turkey and ISIL.


Erdogan emphasised that Turkey is a country that has fought terrorism on its own for long time and has paid a heavy cost and that "any support from Turkey to a terrorist organization is out of question."

Regarding the 49 Turkish hostages released by ISIL on Saturday after three months, Erdogan said: "Turkey acted very carefully, taking into account of the security of its citizens."

Turkey resolute in fight against ISIL

Turkey will not give up its fight against the ISIL and other such organizations, said Turkish deputy PM Bulent Arinc at a press conference late on Monday following the seven-hour meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Asked about a probable change in Turkey's position on ISIL issue, following Saturday's rescue of 49 Turkish consulate staff - held in the Iraqi city of Mosul by ISIL militants for more than 100 days - Arinc, also the spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party government, spoke of no change in Turkey's stance and position on ISIL issue regarding the efforts.

"A common platform, common attitude and common recipe is needed to put an end to the terror in the world," Arinc noted.

He indicated the only way to ward off terrorist organizations is to eliminate the procuring causes.

"Nothing changes even if ISIL threat is eliminated unless Iraq, Syria and their neighbors will not become countries cleared of weapons and terror, where all people are well-represented and can live a life of their own, regardless of their ethnicity, world view or belief," added Arinc.

As for the U.S.-led international efforts to form an anti-ISIL coalition, the Turkish minister maintained that Turkey will do its fair share of the work, "but in a rational way."

"Turkey will not take any related steps without first considering its consequences and knowing beforehand its possible benefits and harm."

Arinc added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have related talks in New York, where he is currently, and recalled the efforts of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to strengthen relations with the effective countries in the region to contribute to the peace in the wider Middle East.

Turkey's opposition blames spy law

Turkey's main opposition deputy chairman criticized changes in the country's intelligence law which opened the path for negotiation with terrorist groups which he claims encouraged the abduction of 49 hostages by the ISIL in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

In a written statement on Monday, the Republican People's Party Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrikulu said: "Our people are under threat as long as the bargaining provision remains within the intelligence law."

Turkey's former President Abdullah Gul signed into law on April a bill that grants broader powers to the country's top intelligence agency, MIT.

The agency will have the capacity to maintain contact with any group that poses a threat to Turkey’s national security, including terrorist organizations. Intelligence officials will also be able to contact prisoners and convicts serving jail terms.

Tanrikulu demanded the removal of the provision from the law.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Eylül 2014, 12:01