Published On: Mon, Jul 4th, 2016

Article Scan: “What airport attack means for Turkey’s Syria policy?” (by Fehim Taştekin, a Turkish columnist for Al-Monitor)

FEHIM-TASTEKINTurkey has been the target of Islamic State (IS) bombing attacks seven times since the general election a year ago. But the IS attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on June 28 that killed 42 people and wounded 239 others needs closer attention for its target selection, timing and possible links to regional developments.

The attack came after Turkish officials had taken steps to improve relations with Russia and hoped Russian tourists would start returning; Israel and Turkey had just struck an agreement to normalize relations. Pro-government media immediately concluded that the airport attack was meant to sabotage Turkey’s peace process with its neighbors. Nobody seems to question Ankara’s bankrupt Syria policy that provided guns, training and logistics support to dangerous organizations over the past five years and granted border crossing privileges to jihadis.

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