HDP deputy asks why ISIS members are granted privileges in Turkey
Deputy parliamentary group chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) submitted a proposal for a parliamentary inquiry on commercial and social activities of Islamic State (ISIS) members in Turkey.
Meral Danis Bestas said, as she introduced her proposal in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on Friday:
"You can stumble into one of those news stories in a newspaper every day. Ilhan Bali, for example, he is a person particularly hard to forget. He is the 'border emir' who is wanted for carrying out the bomb attack in our 5 June [Diyarbakir] meeting. He has a shop in Kilis. The police dos not capture him. They even clear the way for his commercial activities. Or those who abducted a Yazidi child and sold her in a slave market. They live in Ankara. The girl was recently rescued, and then those men were released. Well, yes, the government prefers to treat ISIS as a useful instrument instead of fighting it. We are aware that many ISIS members were transferred to FSA [Free Syrian Army] and that that they currently take part in operations under the command of Turkish Armed Forces."
"During the time when ISIS was Turkey's neighbor in Syria, the Justice and Development Party government had the Syrian border crossings open, and they continued with normal custom processes. TUIK [Turkish Statistical Institute] used to publish data showing trade activities by businesses affiliated with ISIS. In other words, they are free to own assets, to become citizens, to roam free after committing a crime, and to engage in commercial activities in this country. This is what we must look into."
A deputy for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) earlier submitted a parliamentary question in mid May, asking the Turkish Health Minister "how many ISIS members have been treated in the ministry's hospitals."
The question was submitted after it has been disclosed that Ilhan Bali was treated on 25 July 2016 - about 13 months after the bomb attack in HDP's Diyarbakir 5 June meeting - in a hospital that belongs to the ministry.
Bali is allegedly involved also in ISIS's 2015 Suruc attack that killed 34 political activists, and in 2015 Ankara bombings that killed 109 peace activists.