ISIS is allegedly planning to open a consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. If the news reports are accurate, the facility would be a first for the Islamic State and would be used as a global recruiting center. In a statement about the Islamic caliphate consulate, Ab-Omar Al-Tunisi, an ISIS "foreign relations" representative, said that Turkey was chosen for the facility because it is a "friendly and Muslim country."
The ISIS spokesman also reportedly stated that the Islamic State hopes that the Istanbul consulate marks the beginning of "bilateral relations" with recently-elected president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ISIS also maintains that the Istanbul consulate will also pay for the medical bills of all wounded Islamic militants who travel to Turkey to get treatment. The Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey issued a release condemning the decision by the Turkish government to permit the Islamic State to create a diplomatic office in Istanbul. The ISIS consulate will reportedly be opened in Cankaya -- "an elegant" and central metropolitan district in the city.
CHP Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrikulu had this to say about a massive outdoor prayer event in Turkey, where attendees were allegedly called to participate in jihad.
"What were the Istanbul police and provincial gendarmerie command doing during the hours this IS [ISIS] extension group was calling for jihad in Istanbul? Is it true that while the IS extension group was calling for jihad in Istanbul the provincial police and gendarmerie command were instructed not to intervene? Who gave this instruction?"
During the Eid al-Fitr holiday prayer event, a man in white robes allegedly said this during the sermon.
"Those who believe, those who participate in jihad on the path of Allah with their lives and all their beings will be rewarded generously. They are the ones who will survive. We beg him to compassionately help the mujahideen, those in jihad, to hit their targets accurately."
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutglu confirmed that government diplomats kidnapped by ISIS when Mosul fell in June were released during a prisoner exchange with the Islamic State. A total of 50 ISIS detainees, including the family of a "prominent warlord," were freed in the swap. The Turkish nationals were captured when Islamic State fighters seized the consulate in Mosul and kidnapped 49 individuals – including the consul general.
A Turkish government official who gave details about the prisoner swap also said that he was not authorized to either confirm or deny reports about the opening of an ISIS consulate in Istanbul.
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[Image via: US News]