To Turkey, ISIS and the Kurds are the same

“I have no doubt that the Turks knew there was going to be an attack here. I’m convinced they could have prevented it, and if they didn’t, they wanted it to happen,” says the tall, smiling young Kurdish man who asks that I not use his name. The attack he’s referring to is last Monday’s suicide bombing at a culture center in the Turkish border town of Suruc.

“I live near the center. On Monday morning, a few hours before the explosion, I suddenly saw a large concentration of soldiers and policemen. It’s unusual for them to gather in the city center. Usually they’re posted on the hills a few kilometers to the south, right on the border near the Syrian city of Kobani,” the young Kurd says.

“Why were they gathering here next to the culture center of all places? They apparently knew there was a convention of Kurdish volunteers from all over the country who planned to go to Kobani to help rebuild it, and who had collected games and toys to give to Kobani’s children,” he says, referring to the heavily Kurdish Syrian border town.

“They saw everyone who entered the large courtyard and could see someone entering with a strange-looking backpack. Would someone who planned to blow himself up have dared to enter there when the area was packed with soldiers and police?”