The Islamic State group is threatening to “conquer” Turkey and ultimately remove Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The militant group’s latest video, “a message to Erdogan, the Caliph of the Muslim Brotherhood,” warns that “Turkey shall be conquered with the shouts of Allahu Akbar.”
“Be prepared for the good news, for the time for your rule to end is getting close at the hands of the state of the caliphate,” the video’s narrator says, addressing Erdogan.
The militant group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has spent weeks seizing towns and villages on its way to the Turkish border, where it's now battling Kurdish forces in Kobane. Turkey has so far refused to step in on behalf of the Kurds and has not participated in any of the United States–led coalition airstrikes on militant strongholds in either Iraq or Syria.
Despite the NATO-member’s reluctance to play a larger role the fight against the Islamic State, it appears ISIS didn't expect Turkey to join the coalition at all.
“Turkey has been spearheading the armies of Kufr (infidelity) in fighting the Muhajideen,” the narrator says. “It was the leader of the NATO forces in chasing the Taliban fighters. And today, the people of treachery refuse but to continue in their malicious ways although it is in a ‘new and different look.’”
What seems to have really angered ISIS is that Turkey opened its borders to members of the Sunni extremist group Muslim Brotherhood, who were forced to flee Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia after violent crackdowns on the group. Around that same time, Erdogan launched a crackdown on the Turkish border with Syria, which was ISIS’ main route in and out of the country. ISIS and the Brotherhood have different ideologies, and it’s likely that ISIS considers the Brotherhood an enemy.
ISIS criticized Turkey for joining the coalition “despite the release of Turkish detainees by the Islamic State a few days before it agreed to participate.” Last month, the Turkish government admitted to having “diplomatic and political negotiations” with the militants in order to secure the release of 46 Turkish hostages in Iraq. It is unclear if the militants released the hostages in an attempt to persuade Turkey to stay out of the coalition, or if perhaps the Turkish government used its involvement as a negotiation tool.
The video was allegedly released Wednesday on YouTube. It was later taken off the video platform, but still widely circulated on ISIS-affiliated social media accounts. International Business Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the video but it follows the same patters and design of many of the militants past video releases.