President Erdogan. AP file photo.
ISTANBUL, Turkey – The Islamic State group has threatened Turkey and called for the overthrow of the Turkish president, weeks after Ankara declared it was aligning itself with the United States in the war against ISIS.
Turkish newspapers reported Wednesday that a Turkish member of ISIS has called for the “conquest” of Istanbul and slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for helping the Western “crusaders.”
The militant also attacked Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers´ Party (PKK), calling them “atheists.” He also attacked the Free Syrian Army (FSA), calling them “secularists.” Both groups have been fighting the jihadis in Syria.
The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported that the ISIS threats came in an undated video shared on jihadi social media sites on Monday. An unidentified jihadi is seen speaking fluent Turkish in the video, his threats interspersed with sporadic recitation of Arabic prayers and Quranic verses.
Referring to Erdogan, the speaker warns: “He did not rule by the laws of God. He befriended Americans; Jews, crusaders, atheist PKK members, Atatürk’s secular friends, the FSA and the apostate spies of the (Saudi Arabian) Saud family.”
Accusing Erdogan of “becoming a servant primarily to protect his seat that he was about to lose,” the militant calls on the “people of Turkey to revolt,” and for the conquest of Istanbul.
One month ago a bomb, that Turkish authorities blamed on ISIS, killed 33 pro-Kurdish activists in southeastern Turkey.
The video was posted after Ankara agreed last month to let US warplanes use its Incirlik air base and declared it is fully joining the US-led coalition to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
US warplanes carried out their first air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria after taking off from the key İncirlik Air Base in southern Turkey last week.
Turkey has been criticized in the past for turning a blind eye to the hundreds of Western foreign fighters who have passed through its border to join ISIS.
Ankara’s main focus has been the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Since declaring a war on ISIS late last month, Turkey has mainly been targeting PKK bases in northern Iraq and in Turkey’s own Kurdish regions.