Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Western Media Refuses to Ask the Right Question On Turkish Terror Attacks

Australia's ABC typifies the MSM's willful ignorance and jumping to conclusions without evidence

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Why have Islamic State militants targeted Turkey?

Great question. Or it would be if we had asked it. Why would 'Islamic State' bite the hand that feeds it? Our question might have been a little different, along the lines of 'who says IS was responsible for the Istanbul bombing of January 12th and why are they not blaming the PKK?'

But we can explore that question in a moment. What needs answering is how a presenter of a mainstream current affairs program - 'The World Today' on Australia's ABC - could be in such a state of ignorance as to ask such a question? It is ignorance both about the true nature of 'Islamic State'/Da'esh, and the true agenda of the current Turkish leadership.

Some may find it hard to believe that anyone involved in a mainstream 'news' network could be totally ignorant of these two things - to have been completely impervious to Vladimir Putin's revelations of this dirty little secret at the Paris conference in November, for example. But if they don't believe it then the conclusion is much worse - that the mainstream 'gatekeepers' might be doing their duty to their state by keeping the secret.

It's the same old question again - who is lying, because they know the truth, and who is telling the lies while believing them to be true? Although the ABC's enquiry - asked of an associate professor of International Studies at the University of Marmara in Istanbul - might not look much like a lie, it certainly is concealing the truth by framing the situation in the wrong terms. And from the academic's answer we get the same impression. So much so in fact that we might ask how and why the ABC sought or was provided with this particular 'authoritative source' for comment.

We learnt from Behlul Ozkan that:

"Just two months ago ISIS organised a huge level of terrorist attacks in Ankara in the centre of Turkey, in the capital city of Turkey and that attack killed more than a hundred people."

Even the ABC, and other mainstream networks reported that the Ankara attacks were directed at a Kurdish peace protest rally, just like the previous attack on youth workers in the border town of Suruc, also blamed on ISIS; the 'hundred people' were Kurds, and targeted by 'IS' because they were Kurds.

Coincidentally today there is a petition circulating in support of Turkish academics protesting over the Ankara bombings, which Kurds as well as other Turks see as an orchestrated attack, with collusion between 'IS' terrorists and government agencies. Perhaps the ABC was unaware of this controversy, or perhaps they weren't, but their chosen academic clearly disagreed with his colleagues in Ankara.

Failing to even mention the Kurdish context of the Ankara bombing, Ozcan further embroidered the story by noting that:

 "-- this was the biggest terror attack in the history of Turkey and the centre of the attack is just a couple of kilometres from the parliament, from the chief of staff, from the Prime Minister, the interior ministry and in that attack ISIS showed that it is so powerful that it can hit the centre of Turkey."

He then further stated that:

  "--this attack is completely different from the previous ISIS terrorist attacks because for the first time ISIS aimed foreigners and foreign tourists and 10 people who lost their lives in that terrible attack were German students."

But back to the real questions we need to ask, about this latest of many violent attacks connected with the Turkish state.

For the last month or more, almost unreported and mostly uncondemned in Western circles, the Turkish military has been engaged in a massive assault on Kurdish communities in the South East, killing many fighters from the militant PKK as well as terrorising the general population. Significantly, the reaction of the PKK to what happened in Suruc and Ankara was exploited to re-ignite the conflict with the Kurds. If one is concerned to look for a motive for acts of terrorism, why look further than the PKK in the case of the Istanbul bombing? The group has previously been blamed for launching such attacks by the Turkish government, even when its motives would be unclear. So why would they not get the blame this time?

To the contrary though - government representatives concluded with rather unseemly haste that the culprit in Sultanahmet square was from IS and from Syria. This claim was soon backed up by supposed evidence - that 'material' from the bombing site matched fingerprints taken from a Syrian refugee who had entered Turkey near Antakya only a week earlier. Although authorities claimed to have no suspicions about the man when they granted him entry, we now find they knew that his brother had been a suicide bomber in an earlier attack on a Syrian airbase.

Our job as 'journalists' is to ask questions, particularly when things don't quite add up, or when they add up to the wrong number. Is it just a coincidence that a few weeks previously, following the liberation of Homs from its last terrorist 'coven', those immoderate rebels who refused to surrender were bussed out with their families and taken or returned over the border into Turkey? We even saw the video of their co-revolutionaries in Antakya waving the 'revolutionary flag' of the FSA and celebrating their return home.

Turkey however - and her Western allies and their media - distinguish these 'rebels' from the fundamentalist takfiris of Islamic State, calling them 'freedom fighters', and openly supplying them with weapons to fight the Syrian Army and its allies. Here we hit the 'who's lying' problem again, because our media organisations seem unaware that Turkey didn't only supply the weapons, but most of the fighters too; fighters like the Turkmen of the Grey Wolves who shot Russia's pilot as he parachuted to earth, and Chechen mercenaries who help to make up the joint Saudi-Turkish 'Army of Conquest'.

Our media are so unaware, that today they told us that 'three Russian nationals' had been detained in connection with the Istanbul bomb attack. Who amongst their audience would immediately think 'Chechen' when they hear 'Russian' rather than 'Kremlin'?

Despite the Army of Conquest, which aligns itself with terrorist groups Jabhat al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham, being both the main threat to Syrian populations and the main target of both the Syrian army and Russian airstrikes, our media consistently fail to acknowledge it or condemn its atrocities. Instead, and with painful regularity, they accuse Russia of 'failing to target Islamic State' (did they really not notice?) and 'helping the regime'. They even make the ludicrous claim that the 'moderate rebels' - the non-IS terrorist groups - are actually fighting Islamic State, and only trying to protect themselves and Syrians from the Syrian Army and Russia's airstrikes.

As Lavrov says - 'if it looks like a terrorist, and acts like a terrorist... then it's a legitimate target. And as ceasefire agreements extend across Syria, and any remaining really 'moderate' rebels start fighting with the Syrian army, the name on the target won't matter any more.

Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Anyone is free to republish, copy, and redistribute the text in this content (but not the images or videos) in any medium or format, with the right to remix, transform, and build upon it, even commercially, as long as they provide a backlink and credit to Russia Insider. It is not necessary to notify Russia Insider. Licensed Creative Commons

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.