The Wall Street Journal reports: Orhan Gonder was a quiet, studious Kurdish teenager who went out of his way to help people, according to those who knew him in this small Turkish city near the Syrian border.
So when he started frequenting a tea house known as an Islamic State recruiting center last year, his parents went to the police and implored them to detain their son before he could do any harm. On June 5, the 20-year old set off a bomb at a Kurdish political rally in the nearby city of Diyarbakir, killing four people and injuring dozens, officials said.
And two weeks ago, another young Kurd from Adiyaman blew himself up in the middle of a rally of student activists, killing 31 people preparing to go help rebuild Kobani, the Syrian-Kurdish town that overcame a long Islamic State assault in January.
The two attacks exposed a troubling phenomenon: Islamic State appears to be successfully wooing young Turkish Kurds, while their kinsmen in Iraq and Syria — for the most part — are taking up arms against Islamic State. Kurdish militants in Syria, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, have become the single most effective fighting force on the ground against the extremist group. [Continue reading…]