10 Percent of ISIS Fighters Reportedly Turkish

Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) militants after seizing an Iraqi army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin

ANKARA—The extremist Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), a splinter group of al-Qaeda which Turkey has supported against the Bashar al-Assad regime during the Syrian civil war, has ironically turned into a threat for Turkey, and now commands a significant percentage of fighters who are Turks, according to the German daily Die Welt, as reported in the Turkish press.

Die Welt reported on Tuesday that it is “completely ironic” that ISIS has become a threat to Turkey now, reminding that Turkey has been accused of directly or indirectly supporting ISIS for some time against the al-Assad regime.

It is estimated that ISIS has about 10,000-15,000 militants in the region. Die Welt claims that 10 percent of them are Turks.

The story written by Die Welt’s Balkan correspondent in Budapest, Boris Kálnoky, reported that most of the non-Arabs in the IS are either Turkish citizens or citizens of European countries who are of Turkish descent.

According to the story, based on information gathered from European intelligence units, since the beginning of the civil strife in Syria about 1,200 militants from Europe crossed into Syria via Turkey to join ISIS, and after fighting there these militants returned to Europe via Turkey. Die Welt suggested that this will inevitably have a negative effect on Turkey’s relations with the European Union.

Die Welt reported that Ankara has information that there are more than 1,000 Turkish citizens who have joined ISIS, an estimated 10 percent of the total number of ISIS militants.

According to the newspaper, European citizens of Turkish origin from Germany, France, Belgium and Austria are also joining ISIS.

Die Welt also suggested that there are some “sleeper cells” in Turkey biding their time to launch attacks inside the country, and the militants in these cells have been trained by ISIS, based on previous reports in the Turkish press.

The report also mentioned the Mosul hostage crisis in which 49 Turkish citizens, including Turkish Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, other diplomatic staff, special forces members and dependents were taken hostage by ISIS on June 11 of this year.

“Ankara has solved the problem by imposing a gag order on the reporting of the hostage situation. Whoever reports a story about the situation will have to go to court. Therefore, in Turkey there is no such thing as a hostage problem,” reported Die Welt.


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  1. Hratch said:

    Never mind about the 10%. The other 90% are not.

    Our real problem is the fact that Mother Russia has provided sophisticated weapons to the Azeris. We are in peril time my friends. God help us…..if there ever was one somewhere!

    • Sarkis said:

      “The other 90% are not.”

      Is that supposed to mean that Armenians are supposed to look at ISIS as a neutral or friendly entity rather than what they are, which is a NATO/Turkey/EU/US created Islamist terrorist organization?

      Pro-Islamist propaganda and anti-Russian propaganda has no place on an Armenian forum. Please go to a Turkish or Azeri forum, you will find more support there.

      • Hratch said:

        It’s funny how you neglect to ever talk about the weapons sales by your buddies in Moscow. Your silence on the matter is the greatest Russian propaganda. ISIS is not a direct threat to Armenia, although they can be. Our immediate threat comes from neighbors who are being courted by Mother Russia. We first must deal with the immediate before venturing into the distant.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      Don’t worry Hratch, the West will come and help the Chritian Armenians, way they did the last 100 years.

      • Hratch said:

        I’m not too worried, if everything else fails we know the East will come to help.

  2. Pingback: Report: Nearly 10% of ISIS Fighters Are Turkish -- News from Antiwar.com

  3. Sarkis said:

    No surprises here. It’s not exactly a secret that the US, EU, Turkey and Israel are the powers behind “ISIS/ISIL”, and that occupied Armenian Cilicia in Turkey is being used to train these freaks before unleashing them into the Arab world. Islamic terrorists are destructive enough to bring down governments that NATO does not support, but too stupid to pose a threat to NATO exploitation after the targeted governments have been destroyed; thus the west has been using them for years.

    The US and NATO also supported the Chechen terrorists who waged Jihad against the Russians in the North Caucasus in the 1990s and against the Armenians in Artsakh in the Artsakh Liberation War. America and Turkey also employed Islamist terrorists against the Soviets in Afghanistan, which also impacted the Armenians serving in the Red Army. America and Turkey also supported Albanian terrorists in the war against Christian Orthodox Serbia in 1999. The west and Turkey also supported Islamist terrorists in their wars against secular Iraq, Socialist Libya, secular Syria, and Shia Iran.

    It should not surprise anyone that “ISIL/ISIS” targeted the Armenians of Kessab. In fact, the only factors which are keeping the American and Turkish supported Islamist terrorists out of Armenia itself are the Armenian Army, and the Russian Army with its great base in the great Armenian city of Gyumri.

    • hidi said:

      **** Americans are using Turkey as a proxy stooge against Russia, I love to see ISIS kick Turkeys butt.! let them destabilize and kill each other ( the Turks ). so they can shut up about being Europeans., they are not..!!! and never be, they are Turks and 99% Muslim fundamentalist have no business being part of EU or NATO.., period.!!!

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  5. Charlie said:

    I’m an American who ended up reading this story. I doubt anybody will ever read this because this story is several days old but I just wanted to say thanks to Sarkis. Obviously people like me rarely hear opinions like his and it was interesting researching what got posted. I never really put 2 + 2 together in reference to how often the West uses Muslim fundamentalists to further capitalism. It is common knowledge how we did that in Afghanistan but that is only because of 9/11. Not many Americans realize how many other times we have played with fire like that.

    My only hope is that the people of the world understand that Americans are fat and ignorant of what our government does on our behalf. Even those of us who are awake cannot stop it. Our corporations have become so powerful that the American people no longer control our government.

    Sorry for all the bloodshed. Maybe the internet will allow more of us to see what is happening and stop it.

  6. zarkim said:

    Thanks to the American Administration and their allies, these animals have been supported by Turkey and have stolen money and oil/gas from Iraq and Syria and killed innocent people.
    Turkey has been encouraged by Obama administration to fund and train these terrorists and now they have become a headache for Obama. Turkey is guilty of stealing oil/gas using ISIS.
    Kurdish people and all other groups who have been hurt by these animals should blame the Americans for their cowardly act of stirring things up and then running away.
    Americans are behind all these atrocities. Turkey is just a puppet. All Turkish street animals have joined ISIS.
    How dare they blame Putin for anything when they have done and still do even worse than him?
    Only Putin knows how to deal with these homicidal maniacs and that day will come.

    • Anton said:

      Please,please don’t insult the animals , I have three dogs and they love everybody , they are Angels for me

      • zarkim said:

        Oo. That must have hurt! Woof woof woof.
        Please, please accept my sincere apologies brother.
        Americans/allies including NATO and Israel encouraged/funded and armed these beasts to commit crimes against humanity. These hyenas are still sheltered in Turkey and the whole world is turning a blind eye to their existence..

        Shame on you Americans..

  7. Pingback: Iraq crisis: Is Turkey’s government supporting ISIS? « Cradle of Civilization

  8. Arn.Sweden. said:

    More sinister though –

    The ISIS Caliphate will be replaced with a Shiaislamic One.
    The US is an Usefull Idiot for Islam only.

    They should leave the Islamists to fight it out against eachother but,
    The US is afraid IRAN as a Shiaislamic State,
    will step in and exert and spread its influence in this region I suppose.


  9. her zaman said:

    All these theories are interesting and have merit. But instead of making assumptions and blaming why don’t we unite to stop ISIS, after all, the group when kills other Muslims. ISIS needs to be stopped, we need no further divisive issues. Stop ISIS period. That needs to remain the focus. We let pretty details sidetrack us while the world bickers about whose who ISIS gains strength. Focus.