Tens of thousands of Turks have expressed a desire to join Turkmen rebels fighting against Syrian regime forces and Russian troops in Syria, Middle East Eye reported.
According to aid groups who have been funnelling aid to rebel areas, scores of potential recruits now want to go to the Turkmen Mountain, a border area in Syria’s Latakia province, to help native Turkmen under growing threat from Russian air strikes and government advances.
According to Middle East Eye, between 250 and 500 Turkish citizens have already gone to Latakia to join mostly Turkmen rebels, with casualties on the rise.
While thousands of Turkish citizens are estimated to be already fighting in Syria with groups such as Daesh or the al-Nusra Front, those heading towards Turkmen areas are drawn by a mix of nationalist, ethnic, and religious sympathy for the minority, according to a group sending aid to the region and experts on fighters in Syria cited in the news report.
Right-wing groups like Alperen Ocaklari and Ulku Ocaklari – often called the Grey Wolves – and opposition parties including the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), say the Russian bombing of Turkmen areas has ignited nationalist fervour in Turkey.