Turkey faces delicate battle against ISIS sympathizers at home

Reuters reports: Defne Bayrak’s husband was a suicide bomber who killed CIA operatives in a 2009 attack in Afghanistan. Now, she is among the hundreds of Turks using social media to show support for Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey, a Sunni Muslim nation with a secular constitution, is a member, albeit reluctantly, of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State. Most of its 77 million people are deeply opposed to the militant group’s savage tactics.

But pockets of Turkish social media hum with pro-Islamic State activity and at least six websites provide daily updates on its self-declared caliphate, carved out in Syria and Iraq. An October survey by pollster Metropoll said up to 12 percent of Turks do not see the group as a “terrorist organization”.

This sympathy is of growing concern to officials in Ankara, diplomats and security experts say, as they fear a network of fighters, recruiters and facilitators is being cultivated in Turkey to support Islamic State operations over the border. [Continue reading…]

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