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Islamic State ups rhetoric against Ankara

Following a Turkish-American deal allowing US warplanes to use Incirlik Air Base in the fight against the Islamic State, the terrorist group has lashed out at the ruling AKP government.
Turkish soldiers stand at attention during a ceremony for their comrade Mehmet Yalcin Nane who was killed by Islamic State militants on Thursday, at a military base in Gaziantep, Turkey, July 24, 2015. Turkish warplanes pounded Islamic State targets in Syria and police detained hundreds of suspected militants across Turkey on Friday, a sign that Ankara may have shed its hesitancy in taking a front-line role against jihadist fighters. Turkey has long been a reluctant partner in the U.S.-led coalition against
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How exactly Turkey sees the Islamic State (IS) has long been a bone of contention among both Turks and Turkey observers. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government claims it never supported IS and has condemned it as a terror group from the beginning. Others accuse the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan being too lenient on IS, at least until recently, saying the AKP saw IS as a bulwark against Kurdish gains in Syria. More heated voices in the Turkish opposition, including the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), even blame the AKP government for creating, arming and using IS for its own ends.

Much less attention is given, however, to how IS sees Turkey and the AKP. But IS wants to be heard on this, and on its Turkish-language website, online magazines and Twitter accounts, repeatedly condemns Turkish leaders as nothing but a flock of “apostates.” It also warns that the Turkish people will be soon punished for the attack on IS by “Erdogan the devil.” 

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