(GPA) Ankara – CIA Apologizes for Accusation of Turkey Buying ISIS Oil
In what is most likely a move to appease Turkey, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has issued an apology over accusations that the Turkish government was complicit in the smuggling and sale of Islamic State (IS) oil.
The apology was issued this week saying that claims of IS oil being smuggled into turkey were mistaken and “false” following an investigation by the CIA. The investigation consisted of the CIA reviewing documents provided by Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
This follows another recent apology by US Secretary of State John Kerry to his Turkish counterpart Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Both agencies claimed in their apology that the reported site where IS oil was being smuggled “shows a false location in the Turkish province of Kilis.” Turkish authorities investigated the area and have claimed to reach the conclusion that it was just an “asphalt worksite.”
These apologies come amid a time of heightened tensions between the US and their NATO ally as Turkey has been looking at possibly joining a Russian-led economic block over the EU. Turkey has also quarreled with the US over their support for Kurdish militias on their border with Syria and is now discussing having talks on Syria with Iran and Russia while excluding the US.
Although Russia was the country to initially accuse (and essentially prove) Turkey was receiving and exporting IS oil, US officials have also publicly confirmed the claim. The US however, has not said much publicly about whether the Turkish government was directly involved despite John Kerry saying he was concerned about this possibility to Çavuşoğlu at the UN in 2014.
The US is probably issuing this apology in an attempt to bring Turkey back into the western geopolitical fold, not because these claims aren’t actually true. Wikileaks has even released the emails of Erdogan’s son-in-law, that proved his involvement with the gas company that was smuggling IS oil that has been given a government waiver to import and export oil.
The US may think that appeasing an IS collaborator will bring them back into the western side of world politics but the costs will likely be outweigh the benefit. Turkey’s president Erdogan still can’t decide which pole of world power he wants to belong to and is likely going to hold this apology over the United States’ head for more favorable treatment. This will result in Turkey having even more free reign in their two faced approach to dealing with the question of Syria and the Middle East in general.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.