Russia has alleged that Turkey is buying crude oil from ISIS?

  • How does one verify that allegation?
  • Is there any proof provided by Russia for that allegation?
  • Are there any open source investigations(map routes, photographs etc) to prove the same?
  • 1
    There are a few possible interpretations of this. Do you mean, a) is oil from ISIS-controlled areas being sold in Turkey? (answer: yes, almost certainly); b) are Turkish authorities allowing oil from ISIS-controlled areas to be sold in Turkey? (answer: very likely, but it's not 100% clear how high up this goes, whether it's endorsed from the top or just individual corrupt officials on the ground); or c) as Putin claims, is Turkey's government and Erdogan's family actively promoting trade in oil from ISIS-controlled areas? (not sure about this one, I'm not aware of any strong evidence yet) Dec 3, 2015 at 9:15
  • 1
    @user568458 I did not interpret Putins claims as actively promoting, but rather has permitting and benefiting.
    – gerrit
    Dec 3, 2015 at 11:19
  • There's no way to know this at this time. This is something worthy of an international investigation, not a StackExchange question. Dec 4, 2015 at 8:33
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is way too soon to have an objective and distant view of this recent super-mediatised event. This is politics SE, not news SE (if there is one).
    – Bregalad
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:32
  • 2
    I disagree with @Bregalad. This is a simple, definable question, and substantial documentation has been published supporting a simple, definable answer. A U.N. investigation would investigate details like who is to blame, how to make it stop, what market forces or ideologies or political power plays contribute to it, etc . . . but political questions don't get much easier than this. Dec 6, 2015 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


Although I like the answer from @user3765080, I think that this question requires a definitive answer and the answer should be yes. If we ask about Turkey, we mean all the people of Turkey whether they are criminals or not. And buying oil from a terrorist organization is obviously criminal.

To whom does the Islamic State sell their oil? Sep 23, 2014.

Islamic State oil is being sold to organized criminals in Turkey. -- John Woo

  • It's not just some "criminals"; see my answer at the question you linked to.
    – einpoklum
    Jun 17, 2017 at 11:34
  • The original source of the claim is behind a paywall, but I suspect they are overblowing the trade. There is little oil in the area and with the rudimental machinery they have they cannot produce enough to sustain a weapons trade.
    – FluidCode
    Apr 4, 2022 at 12:08

To my knowledge, new & tangible information has not emerged since this question was previously answered, so I'll summarize.

To whom does the Islamic State sell their oil? Sep 23, 2014.

Islamic State oil is being sold to organized criminals in Turkey . . . It is an open question to what extent Turkey is deliberately allowing this to occur. -- John Woo

Is Turkey covertly supporting the Islamic State? - Oct 24, 2014.

I can't say if they are supporting them but they have some common interest . . . * . . . To sum it up, no they are not sympathizer of the Islamic State. They are mostly neutral toward them. -- Vincent

This skips four good paragraphs by Vincent, so for more information I recommend reading the entire answer.

Did Turkey take revenge of Russian attacks on ISIS by downing the plane? Nov 25, 2015

Turkish businessmen struck lucrative deals with Isis oil smugglers, adding at least $10m (£6.6m) per week to the terror group’s coffers, and replacing the Syrian regime as its main client. Over the past two years several senior Isis members have told the Guardian that Turkey preferred to stay out of their way and rarely tackled them directly. -- The Guardian, quoted by bytebuster

And the following paragraph was not quoted, but was in one of bytebuster's sources.

Elaborate trade networks have also evolved, with oil being smuggled across borders in plastic jugs and transported by trucks and on donkeys into Iraq and Turkey. -- NY Times

IN SUMMARY: "It is an open question to what extent Turkey is deliberately allowing this to occur."

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .