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    A woman takes photographs in front of the New Mosque by the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey January 12, 2016

    Turkey at a Crossroads After Istanbul Blast

    © REUTERS / Murad Sezer
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    Terrorist Attack in Istanbul (29)

    Two days after a suicide bomb attack in downtown Istanbul killed 10 people and injured 15 others, most of them German tourists, experts remain divided as to the goals the perpetrators of that deadly act really had in mind.

    How does Tuesday’s attack differ from the such previous such attacks in Ankara and Suruc? Why did it happen and how will it affect the country’s image as a tourist hub? And, finally, will it make Ankara reconsider its attitude towards Daesh and the civil war in Syria?

    Sputnik Türkiye discussed the matter with Koray Gürbüz – a Bilkent University military expert in Ankara and the onetime head of the Turkish Veterans’ Council.

    “The terriorst attack in Istanbul came hard on the heels of similar attacks in Suruc, Dyarbakir and Ankara and showed that Daesh has no problem staging such attacks wherever they want. Daesh came along with much support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United States. The US-led coalition insists that it is fighting Daesh while in reality, it is helping the terrorists,” Koray Gürbüz said.

    With Turkey’s borders with Iraq and Syria virtually unprotected, millions of Syrian refugees now live in the country, including tens of thousands of Salafites with direct links to Daesh.

    Fully controlled by the terrorists, these people are human time-bombs ready to blow themselves up anytime anywhere.

    “The goal of the Istanbul blast was to undermine the Turkish economy… Foreign tourists bring in around $50 billion dollars each year, with some 13 million people coming to Istanbul alone. I’m afraid that after Tuesday’s attack at least half of these people will prefer to travel elsewhere,” Koray Gürbüz noted.

    Men place flowers at the Obelisk of Theodosius, the scene of the suicide bomb attack, at Sultanahmet square in Istanbul, Turkey January 13, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Osman Orsal
    He also said that Ankara should now change its attitude towards the Syrian crisis, the Syrian refugees and start clamping down hard on Daesh terrorists and terrorism as such, just like it does with the Kurdistan Workers Party, if it really wants to ensure the security of its citizens.

    He believes this is due to the fact that Daesh and other terrorist groups are nothing but puppets in the hands of the West, which wants to break up Turkey.

    Instead of dealing with [Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud] Barzani, Ankara should work with the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and restore dialogue with the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus, instead of cozying up to Daesh, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, Gürbüz noted.

    “Only by showing respect for the sovereignty of its neighbors will Turkey be able to effectively fight the terrorists. I think Ankara already realizes this, which means that positive changes will not take long coming,” Koray Gürbüz said in conclusion.

    Terrorist Attack in Istanbul (29)


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    positive changes, country's image, terrorist attacks, Syrian conflict, Turkish Veterans Council, Bilkent University, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Al-Nusra Front, Koray Gürbüz, Masoud Barzani, Turkey
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