If there’s one lesson which can be drawn from the past two decades, it is that the strategy of various Middle Eastern states to support Jihadism abroad while crushing terrorists at home backfires. Saudi princes believed that they could fund al-Qaeda abroad, only to have the group start attacking Saudis and foreign workers inside the Kingdom. Bashar al-Assad also believed that he could use al-Qaeda to undermine Iraq and perhaps Jordan, only to find himself fighting a death struggle with the same al-Qaeda alumni inside Syria. If Erdoğan continues down the path of promoting the Muslim Brotherhood and even more radical groups abroad, he may very well set the stage for a terrorist backlash in Turkey in coming years. The terrorists of course will have primary blame for their actions but, when that instability occurs, the Turks—and those who have supported Erdoğan’s religious agenda—will have no one to blame but themselves for such a short-sighted strategy.
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