Turkey’s border crossing for jihadists brought up in parliament

Eren Erdem, lawmaker of the People's Republican Party (CHP).

An undercover video report exposing a new special border crossing between Turkey and Syria’s Idlib province and used by members of jihadist groups has led opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) lawmaker Eren Erdem to bring the matter to Turkey’s parliament.

The video report, presented by prominent journalist Jenan Moussa and shot in secret over three months, shows Al-Qaeda rule in Idlib.

Presenting eight parliamentary questions to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Erdem asked where the border crossing was and who would bear the responsibility for “putting citizens in danger by letting armed militants linked to terrorist organisations crossing the border.”

The questions revolved around Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra, two jihadist groups cooperating in Idlib.

The CHP deputy asked if Turkey provides weapons to these groups, if Ankara considers them as terrorist groups, and who would bear the responsibility if Turkish soldiers or citizens were to be harmed by these groups or by Russian attacks on these groups at the border gate, as Moscow considers them terrorist organisations.

“What precautions are taken to protect our citizens from Salafist, fundamentalist and armed terrorist militants?” he asked.

Ankara has not hidden its support for Islamist groups in Syria, openly supporting Ahrar al-Sham and several other groups involved in the Operation Euphrates Shield.

Critics, including Eren Erdem, have also accused the Turkish government of having ties with the jihadist Islamic State (IS). The government has denied the accusations.