Turkish opposition deputy asks if ISIL offshoot given land for military training

A leading member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has submitted a parliamentary question demanding to know if a terrorist organization, claimed to be an offshoot of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization, has been provided with one or more pieces of land in İstanbul for military training.

“Is it true that one or more training camps have been allocated in İstanbul to the group claimed to be an offshoot of the ISIL terrorist organization? What is this group? Of whom is it composed of?” Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chairman of the CHP, said in the parliamentary question he submitted.

The terrorist group ISIL, following its advance in Iraq, changed its name to the Islamic State at the end of June.

In the question for Minister of Interior Efkan Ala, Tanrıkulu demanded to know if the claim about allocating a training camp to the terrorist group is true and where the campsites are in İstanbul, referring to photographs recently published in some Turkish dailies that displayed a large crowd of members of the supposed terrorist group in an open area.

Photos of hundreds of people gathered for prayer in an open area appeared in dailies at the beginning of the week.

“Where is the area the group, which is claimed to be an offshoot of ISIL, used to celebrate one another’s holiday on July 28, 2014?” Tanrıkulu asked.

“Is it true that the group which is claimed to be an offshoot of the ISIL terrorist organization declared a jihad [holy war] on July 28, 2014?” Tanrıkulu further demanded to know.

Asking if the group used the area where it gathered for military training, CHP deputy chairman said: “Was the [Ramadan] holiday used as a guise when official permission was sought [from authorities] by this group? Is it true that the İstanbul Security Directorate and the provincial gendarmerie command were instructed not to intervene while the group, an offshoot of the terrorist organization ISIL, called for a jihad in İstanbul?”

The al-Qaeda splinter group ISIL, which is also active in the Syrian civil war, seized the Turkish Consulate General in Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, in June and took 49 Turkish nationals captive, including the Turkish Consulate General.

Following ISIL’s increasing presence in the region surrounding Turkey, Tanrıkulu also submitted a petition earlier in July asking Parliament to launch an inquiry into whether or not Turkey has secret connections with and offers covert support to the terrorist group.

Drawing attention to allegations that Turkey is indirectly aiding ISIL, Tanrıkulu said in his previous petition to Parliament: “As long as the government remains silent in the face of allegations concerning a Turkish-ISIL connection, the public will be lead to accept that there is such a covert relationship. Accusations that ISIL is receiving military training and logistical support — including arms support — in return for selling oil to Turkey should be investigated by Parliament. Such an inquiry is mandatory. To thwart this threat, any overt or covert relations between Turkey and ISIL should be made clear.”

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