Can you hear that creaking sound under the Bosphorus Bridge? Perhaps someone should alert President Barack Obama as he strides across it to build his coalition to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The bridge, traditionally seen as the link between West and East, the Christian and Muslim worlds, NATO and the Arab states, may now be one that Washington should be treading on more cautiously.
Those on both sides are waiting impatiently for Obama to comprehensively outline his strategy for dealing with ISIS on Wednesday. He declared on Sunday that Sunni states, including NATO member Turkey, will need to “step up” and play an enhanced role in this conflict. But in order for Ankara to be part of the solution to the tornado that is ISIS, the Obama administration would be wise to make clear that it was Turkey’s pro-Islamist policies in Syria (and Egypt) that paved the way for this catastrophe.
Ankara’s track record of controlling the flow of fighters and cracking down on ISIS activity in its border towns is not one that inspires confidenceSami Zahed