After Opening Way to Rebels, Turkey Is Paying Heavy Price

TURKEY-2-articleLargeHABUR BORDER GATE, Turkey — In normal times, hauling 50,000 pounds of frozen chicken into Iraq is a routine job for Turfan Aydin, a Turkish trucker who has been working the route for years. But the cross-border trade has suddenly all but halted, locked up by the insurgent offensive in Iraq and the kidnapping of 80 Turkish citizens.

Once this border was wide open, as Turkey allowed rebel groups of any stripe easy access to the battlefields in Syria in an effort to topple President Bashar al-Assad. But that created fertile ground in Syria for the development of the Sunni militant group that launched a blitzkrieg in Iraq this month, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“For three years, we have seen ISIS flags in Syria, and that is because of Turkey,” Mr. Aydin said, eyeing hundreds of Iraq-bound trucks that snaked in a line over the horizon. “Turkey let them in.”

Now, with the rise of ISIS, the Turkish government is paying a steep price for the chaos it helped create.

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