When the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) captured Mosul on June 10, kidnapping more than 80 Turks, Turkey woke up. The militant jihadist group, which was hardly a matter of concern in the media before this incident, became a national preoccupation. Despite this focus, however, there exists an ideological blind spot that, I believe, should be addressed to develop a more factual understanding of the world, in Turkey as well as beyond.
The blind spot is simply this: Many Turkish opinion leaders, especially those in the pro-government media, cannot accept ISIS, or its ilk, as extremist Islamist actors with genuinely held beliefs and self-defined goals. Rather they take it for granted that these terror groups are merely the pawns of a great game designed by none other than the Western powers.