HACIPASA, Turkey — For some time now, Turkey has been accused of either supporting or tolerating the activities of the Islamic State group (IS). Turkey’s hesitation to contribute to the coalition Washington is trying put together has only intensified the accusations. Since Turkey opened its borders without restriction to those fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, others have been exploiting the lax border control. More than facilitating the crossings of militants, the security loophole has also contributed to substantial financial resources for the armed groups dominating the liberated areas of Aleppo, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. The group profiting the most has been IS, which has been transporting to Turkey the oil it's extracting with primitive methods in its occupied areas.
In the Hacipasa village of Altinozu in Hatay province, the scope of this oil smuggling mechanism is clear. On the Turkish side of the Asi river, which forms the border with Syria, lies the village of Hacipasa, with the village of Ezmerin on the Syrian side. The saga of Hacipasa is surely one of the most telling outcomes of the Syria policy then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu so passionately defended in parliament when he boasted, “We will lead the wave of change in the Middle East. A new Middle East is being born. We will continue to be the owner, pioneer and servant of this Middle East."