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In response to the downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish military in November 2015, Vladamir Putin made a statement implying the Turkish government/military contained "accomplices of terrorists":

Today's loss is linked to a stab in the back delivered to us by accomplices of terrorists. I cannot qualify what happened today as anything else.

Elsewhere in the speech, he described Turkey as "allegedly fighting against terrorism as part of the U.S. coalition" (emphasis mine) and alluded to ISIS having the protection "of entire governments".

Has any major world leader accused the Turkish government or military of actively aiding, co-operating with or otherwise being "accomplices" of ISIS or other jihadist terrorist groups before this?

(this is of course assuming that this is indeed such an accusation - the language is very slightly open to interpretation, but this is clearly one plausible interpretation - I'm more interested in what if anything has been said before this than the interpretation of this particular statement)


It's a separate question as to whether or not such accusations would have any merit, but just to give some background, there have been plenty of analysts arguing that ISIS enjoy some form of protection or even measurable practical support from elements within the Turkish government and/or military, for example, this article by journalist Nafeez Ahmed summarises a lot of the accusations:

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups...

...[a] former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds...

...Senior officials of the ruling AKP have conceded the extent of the government’s support for ISIS...

The article goes on to allege specific forms of military equipment donated, estimated sums of money, specific instances of borders being opened, and various other things. It then discusses possible reasons why NATO members might be reluctant to address such things directly.

Is Putin's statement the first time a world leader has made any comparable accusation?

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    Probably, the main issue here is that public statements are often moderated by the need to maintain normal diplomatic relations. Only when something happens that makes maintaining normal diplomatic relations less of a priority will you see the gloves come off. But then what is said then would likely have been communicated in private meetings (using appropriate language, of course) much earlier. – Count Iblis Nov 24 '15 at 18:48
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden mentioned this at Harvard on October 3, 2014:

And what my constant cry was that our biggest problem is our allies—our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends—and I have the greatest relationship with Erdogan, which I just spent a lot of time with—the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were an-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

But it's like Count Iblis says, "public statements are often moderated by the need to maintain normal diplomatic relations." Biden apologized within days, and his apology makes it difficult for other politicians to publicly make any similar observations. Presidential Candidates have brought up working with Russia and Iran and other unconventional ways to "fight ISIS," but none have suggested pressuring Turkey to restructure its standards for arming rebels, nor have they mentioned that Turkey shouldn't be bombing any of our other allies.

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