Don’t fear for Erdogan or cheer the military – Turkey has a long history of coups and authoritarian governments. President Erdogan is blaming the Gulen Movement for the latest coup attempt (he refers to the Movement as the ‘parallel structure’). Gulen are the ruling AKP’s natural political enemy. However, Erdogan has also been battling another ‘parallel structure’ – Ergenekon, which is a secret organisation of military and ex-military chiefs who, over several years, have been prosecuted by the Government, without much success, for attempting coups. Details of those coup attempts and who were involved are given below. (An appendix on the timeline to this conflict is given, as also an appendix on how the Erdogan government has been covertly supporting ISIS from the very beginning.) The current coup attempt was never about democracy but about one set of nationalists (army) vying with another set of nationalists (Erdogan’s AKP). The coup was thwarted by mostly Erdogan supporters in the name of democracy, though real democracy in Turkey will only emerge when all the nationalsts are defeated (and Kurds liberated). Revolution? See Updates for latest developments…
- Almost 3000 judges (who are critical of Erdogan and seen as ‘independent’) are sacked as purge begins in earnest
- Turkish Government closes airspace for US base (2500 US personnel) at Incirlik, used to attack ISIS
- Turkey’s left-wing Patriotic Party says that CIA is behind Gulen (who lives in Pensylvania) coup
- Pro-Kurdish HDP offices under attack by pro-Erdogan supporters in Iskenderun, Malatya and Osmaniye
- Gun fights have broken out between police (who support Erdogan) and soldiers in Istanbul and Ankara.
- Most aiports are shut
- Access to Internet social media sites have been cut off
- Coup troops have sealed off the two bridges over the Bosphorus.
- TRT state television announced a countrywide curfew. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. The country, the statement said, would be run by a “peace council” that would ensure the safety of the population.
- Some commentators claim the coup is limited to Istanbul and Ankara only; others, that it is well organised and will not be put down easily.
- President Erdogan is believed to be back in Istanbul (at the airport).
- Police issue text messages en-masse and tweets to urge people to go on to streets to oppose coup
- According to a Wikileaks tweet the Intelligence Service (MIT?) HQ in Ankara has reportedly been burnt down (further reports needed).
- More than 1500 military personnel have been arrested
- Soldiers at main thoroughfares, including Bosphorus bridges, have surrendered
- It appears the coup has failed
- Expect a further crackdown on civil liberties and mass arrests by Erdogan of opponents whether or not involved in coup
Comments from Paul Mason:
A. Background to coup
Over recent years President Erdogan has eroded secularism, bombed Kurd cities and towns and there have been plentiful evidence that his government has supported ISIS. Erdogan’s family has also benefited from oil sales to ISIS. Erdogan’s threats to the EU to bus in thousands of refugees to Europe was not helpful. The Erdogan government also closed down a leading Gulenist newspaper. In a separate case it prosecuted journalists for revealing how the Government has been supplying arms to ISIS. (Journalists Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of “Cumhuriyet”, and Erdem Gilwere, Ankara bureau chief, were subsequently jailed for more than five years for merely reporting on evidence that the Erdogan government had, via the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), been secretly ferrying arms from Turkey across the Syrian border.) In recent days Turkey is reported to have reached an understanding with its traditional enemy, Syria: some in Turkey’s military would regard that as treachery.
B. Erdogan’s battle with the military
Turkey’s military has a long history of staging coups if authoritarian leaders, albeit democratically elected, need to be removed. Here is the background to these coup plots…
In 2010 Turkish police arrested hundreds of current and former military officials accused of plotting to overthrow Erdogan’s government. Hundreds were sent to jail, but the cases eventually crumbled. The military (secularists) was basically accused of planning terror campaigns to forment unrest in Turkey so that the Islamist AKP would lose power. These terror measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tension with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane that was to be blamed on Athens.
The journalist Nedim Sener, however, claimed the attacks and killings were masterminded by people in government agencies (he was jailed for saying this).
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) April 22, 2016
In 2007 a cache of explosives was found in the home of a former military officer, who was linked to what was claimed to be a much bigger conspiracy. Former chief of staff, retired Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the coup trial, was released in March 2014, following a ruling by the Istanbul 20th Heavy Penal Court. Several of Basbug’s former subordinates or colleagues also received life terms. Hursit Tolon, former First Army commander, was sentenced to life in prison on the same charge as Basbug. Former General Staff Second Chief, General Hasan Igsiz, was also consigned to a life sentence. Retired General Nusret Tasdeler and Retired Colonel Fuat Selvi were similarly sentenced to life in prison. Former Gendarmerie Forces (National Police) Commander Sener Eruygur received an “aggravated life sentence” – a punishment reserved for terrorism cases, in solitary confinement, with limited exercise time and contact with other prisoners or by telephone with family, and no opportunity for parole. Retired general Veli Kucuk saw a double-aggravated life sentence imposed on him, plus 99 years and a month. Kucuk and retired colonel Arif Dogan were accused of creating and directing a terrorist effort to subvert the current authorities. Dogan was purportedly the mentor of a Gendarmerie Intelligence Anti-Terrorism Unit, a covert, seditious organization, the existence of which has been questioned by such Turkish media as the daily Hurriyet [Freedom]. In the Ergenekon affair, he was sentenced to 47 years in jail.
Other former Erdogan supporters jailed for life in what became known as the Ergenekon trial included Kemal Kerincsiz, a fanatical nationalist attorney. Kerencsiz had persecuted the Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, who edited Agos [The Furrow], a weekly Armenian-language newspaper with sections in Turkish and English. Dink, whom Kerincsiz claimed “insulted Turkishness” – currently redefined as “denigration of the Turkish nation,” and a serious offense – was murdered early in 2007 while awaiting indictment. The law that criminalizes “insulting Turkishness” was introduced under Erdogan and pursued with zeal by Kerincsiz. Among the political and media victims of Ergenekon “justice,” Mustafa Balbay, a writer for the daily Cumhuriyet [The Republic] and a parliamentary deputy of the long-established secularist Republican People’s Party [CHP], was also senetenced to life in jail, as was his co-defendant, Tuncay Ozkan, another secularist journalist.
Prosecution was subsequently filed against 275 people, including military officers, politicians and journalists, over an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The trials resulted in lengthy prison sentences for the majority of the accused. Then, just three months ago, the Turkish courts quashed all he conviction. The Appeal court explained that the convictions were quashed because there was no evidence that Ergenekon ever existed. The court’s ruling clearly weakened Erdogan’s power base. (As to the existence of Ergenekon, the evidence is plentiful – see Appendix below for a list of its activities up to 2013.)
11) The release was reportedly part of a secret deal made between #Turkey‘s corrupt political Islamist rulers & xenophobic neo-nationalists
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) April 22, 2016
Nothing is quite what it seems in Turkey and so the ruling by the Appeals Court was seen as yet another example of the convoluted political situation in that country, which is largely defined by the tension between the forces of old guard military-backed secularism and the forces of new-guard police-backed Islamism.
The Ergenekon trials undoubtedly functioned as a useful vehicle for Erdogan to push his Islamist political agenda, enhance anti-terrorism laws, instill a state of fear, and neuter his opponents. Indeed, some may argue that, as with ISIS, Erdogan ‘allowed’ Ergenekon to exist – until, that is, it suited him otherwise. That still left the old guard at large, bowed but not broken and ready to encourage another coup attempt.
It is inevitable that Erdogan will exploit the latest coup attempt and seek more prosecutions, curb civil liberties even more and crackdown further on the press (see UPDATES, above).
Ultimately, the people of Turkey will only achieve real democracy when the army is tamed, Erdogan removed and the Kurds granted autonomy (or at minimum federalism).
Appendix 1: Ergenekon activities 1997 – 2013
|1997 – 2007|
1997: The name “Ergenekon” was first used in reference to the “deep state”.
2001: The first official document related to Ergenekon was found. Tuncay Guney, an eccentric character of dubious credentials, was brought in on ordinary fraud charges and told Istanbul police about Ergenekon. His questioning formed the basis of the first Ergenekon indictment.
January 18, 2007: Armenian human rights journalist Hrant Dink was shot dead in front of the offices of his newspaper Agos. The Government blamed ‘unknown terrorist forces’ and shed crocodile tears.
March 25, 2007: Nokta, a political magazine, published the Coup Diaries, chronicling plans to stage a military takeover. The magazine was shut down almost a month later. The diaries formed the basis of the second Ergenekon indictment (see below).
April 18, 2007: Three Christians were killed in an attack at a publishing house in Malatya. The case was later merged with the the Ergenekon case on November 21, 2008.
June 12, 2007: After a tip-off, police discovered and confiscated 27 hand grenades and TNT moulds in a shantytown of Istanbul’s Umraniye district. The subsequent investigations led the prosecutors to unfold a series of coup plots against the government.
January 21: Thirty-one people were arrested following the first Ergenekon indictment including a retired general and columnist.
March 21: More generals and columnists were detained.
July 7: Some previously detained retired generals were arrested.
July 23: A new wave of arrests in the investigation led to 26 people detained around the country, including senior members of the Workers’ Party and staff members of a nationalist magazine.
July 25: After the submission of the indictment to the court the trial period officially began.
August 14: In another round of arrests, police found large amounts of explosives and weapons (two Kalashnikovs, 1,000 bullets, 1,000 empty bullets and 280 hand grenades).
September 23: Sixteen more people were detained, including a former police chief, a former mayor and journalists.
October 20: The first Ergenekon trial began.
January 7, 8: More people were detained, including academics and generals, and more arms caches were unearthed at various places.
January 22: More than 20 police officers were detained in connection to Ergenekon.
March 10: The second Ergenekon indictment was submitted. It was accepted by the court on March 22.
June 4: Army officers were arrested as part of an investigation into the ammunition found in Poyrazkoy, Istanbul. Twenty people, including 16 army officers on active duty, were detained in simultaneous operations, conducted in five Turkish provinces.
July 20: The Istanbul Criminal Court began trying 56 suspects under the second indictment of the Ergenekon probe. The 1,909-page indictment consisted of accusations against 56 suspects, including retired generals.
The third indictment was submitted to the court. The 1,454 page document indicted 52 people – 37 of whom were under arrest. The suspects were arrested between January 10, 2009 and April 17, 2009.
November 19: The ‘Cage’ (Kafes) coup plan was revealed by the daily newspaper, Taraf.
January 20: The Sledgehammer, or Balyoz, coup plot was revealed to the public through Taraf.
February 22: About 50 retired and active duty military officials were detained because of their alleged involvement with the Sledgehammer plot.
March 4: Police detained 10 people, mostly journalists, as part of an investigation into Ergenekon.
May 5: A case filed against a plot to assassinate the Istanbul-based leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians was merged with the Ergenekon case.
July 30: Turkey’s top military leaders quit. The mass retirement notices came hours after a court charged 22 suspects, including several generals and officers, with carrying out an internet campaign to undermine the government.
September 19: A Turkish prosecutor, conducting the investigation into the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, said that the murder was committed by Ergenekon’s cell in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.
January 5: Turkey’s former Chief of Army Staff, Ilker Basbug, was called to court over allegations of his involvement in the creation of websites to discredit Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, and the governing Justice and Development Party.
January 6: The Court ordered Ilker Basbug to be remanded in custody over charges of attempting to overthrow the government.
March 26: Ilker Basbug goes on trial on charges of “leading a terrorist group”, accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Erdogan.
August 5: A Turkish court announced verdicts on nearly 300 defendants in the Ergenekon case. Ilker Basbug was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the government. The judges also sentenced three serving parliamentarians from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to between 12 and 35 years in prison. 21 defendants were acquitted. Protests erupted as the judgement were handed down.
- Ergenkon and Sledgehammer: building or undermining the rule of law,
- Former deputy Uras: Erdoğan struck deal with Ergenekon against Gülen movement,
- Between Fact and Fantasy: Turkey’s Ergenekon Investigation
- Ergenekon Verdicts: Erdogan Silences Dissent in Divided Turkey
- Erdogan, Ergenekon, and the Struggle for Turkey
Appendix 2: Turkey’s support for ISIS
(The following is from UndercoverInfo archives.)
For the last two years the Turkish Government has been secretly supporting ISIS, but the US and NATO turn a blind eye to this because of Turkey’s geopolitical position. ISIS as an armed force – though not ISIS terrorists outside the Mid East region – would most likely have been defeated long ago had it not been for Turkey’s support.
According to journalist, Nafeez Ahmed: “…the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported that “more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports” had been given to ISIS. Erdogan’s government, the newspaper added, “has been accused of supporting the terrorist organization by turning a blind eye to its militants crossing the border and even buying its oil… Based on a 2014 report, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that ISIS terrorists fighting in Syria claimed to have been treated in hospitals in Turkey.”
Dr Ahmed adds: “In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services (MIT) had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria. According to other ISIS suspects facing trial in Turkey, the Turkish national military intelligence organization (MIT) had begun smuggling arms, including NATO weapons to jihadist groups in Syria as early as 2011.” Also: “Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country. Last summer, an opposition politician estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million — that was over a year ago.”
Finally, Dr. Ahmed shows how consistent transfers of CIA-Gulf-Turkish arms supplies to ISIS have been fully documented through analysis of weapons serial numbers by the UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR), whose database on the illicit weapons trade is funded by the EU and Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Latest – see link in tweet below – is an article that reports on a group “involved in making arms deals on behalf of the Islamic State leaders in Syria, including buying FN-6 portable air defence systems and other weaponry, which were shipped to ISIL in Syria through Turkey… transferring money to Turkish bank accounts…
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 20, 2015
Other allegations re Turkey’s support for ISIS:
[Note: the following is compiled from a Report by Columbia University’s Program on Peace-building and Rights, which assigned a team of researchers in the United States, Europe, and Turkey to examine Turkish and international media, assessing the credibility of allegations made against Turkey. This report draws on Turkish sources (CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal among others) as well as a variety of mainstream media – The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, etc.]
1. Turkey Provides Military Equipment to ISIS
• An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014: “Most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies.”
• Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), produced a statement from the Adana Office of the Prosecutor on October 14, 2014 maintaining that Turkey supplied weapons to terror groups. He also produced interview transcripts from truck drivers who delivered weapons to the groups. According to Kiliçdaroglu, the Turkish government claims the trucks were for humanitarian aid to the Turkmen, but the Turkmen said no humanitarian aid was delivered.
• According to CHP Vice President Bulent Tezcan, three trucks were stopped in Adana for inspection on January 19, 2014. The trucks were loaded with weapons in Esenboga Airport in Ankara. The drivers drove the trucks to the border, where a MIT agent was supposed to take over and drive the trucks to Syria to deliver materials to ISIS and groups in Syria. This happened many times. When the trucks were stopped, MIT agents tried to keep the inspectors from looking inside the crates. The inspectors found rockets, arms, and ammunitions.
• Cumhuriyet reports that Fuat Avni, a preeminent Twitter user who reported on the December 17th corruption probe, that audio tapes confirm that Turkey provided financial and military aid to terrorist groups associated with Al Qaeda on October 12, 2014. On the tapes, Erdogan pressured the Turkish Armed Forces to go to war with Syria. Erdogan demanded that Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT), come up with a justification for attacking Syria.
• Hakan Fidan told Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Yasar Guler, a senior defense official, and Feridun Sinirlioglu, a senior foreign affairs official: “If need be, I’ll send 4 men into Syria. I’ll formulate a reason to go to war by shooting 8 rockets into Turkey; I’ll have them attack the Tomb of Suleiman Shah.”
• Documents surfaced on September 19th, 2014 showing that the Saudi Emir Bender Bin Sultan financed the transportation of arms to ISIS through Turkey. A flight leaving Germany dropped off arms in the Etimesgut airport in Turkey, which was then split into three containers, two of which were given to ISIS and one to Gaza.
2. Turkey Provided Transport and Logistical Assistance to ISIS Fighters
• According to Radikal on June 13, 2014, Interior Minister Muammar Guler signed a directive: “According to our regional gains, we will help al-Nusra militants against the branch of PKK terrorist organization, the PYD, within our borders…Hatay is a strategic location for the mujahideen crossing from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly take place in Hatay…MIT and the Religious Affairs Directorate will coordinate the placement of fighters in public accommodations.”
• The Daily Mail reported on August 25, 2014 that many foreign militants joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq after traveling through Turkey, but Turkey did not try to stop them. This article describes how foreign militants, especially from the UK, go to Syria and Iraq through the Turkish border. They call the border the “Gateway to Jihad.” Turkish army soldiers either turn a blind eye and let them pass, or the jihadists pay the border guards as little as $10 to facilitate their crossing.
• Britain’s Sky News obtained documents showing that the Turkish government has stamped passports of foreign militants seeking to cross the Turkey border into Syria to join ISIS.
• The BBC interviewed villagers, who claim that buses travel at night, carrying jihadists to fight Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, not the Syrian Armed Forces.
• A senior Egyptian official indicated on October 9, 2014 that Turkish intelligence is passing satellite imagery and other data to ISIS.
3. Turkey Provided Training to ISIS Fighters
• CNN Turk reported on July 29, 2014 that in the heart of Istanbul, places like Duzce and Adapazari, have become gathering spots for terrorists. There are religious orders where ISIS militants are trained. Some of these training videos are posted on the Turkish ISIS propaganda website takvahaber.net. According to CNN Turk, Turkish security forces could have stopped these developments if they had wanted to.
• Turks who joined an affiliate of ISIS were recorded at a public gathering in Istanbul, which took place on July 28, 2014.
• A video shows an ISIS affiliate holding a prayer/gathering in Omerli, a district of Istanbul. In response to the video, CHP Vice President, MP Tanrikulu submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of the Interior, Efkan Ala, asking questions such as, “Is it true that a camp or camps have been allocated to an affiliate of ISIS in Istanbul? What is this affiliate? Who is it made up of? Is the rumor true that the same area allocated for the camp is also used for military exercises?”
• Kemal Kiliçdaroglu warned the AKP government not to provide money and training to terror groups on October 14, 2014. He said, “It isn’t right for armed groups to be trained on Turkish soil. You bring foreign fighters to Turkey, put money in their pockets, guns in their hands, and you ask them to kill Muslims in Syria. We told them to stop helping ISIS. Ahmet Davutoglu asked us to show proof. Everyone knows that they’re helping ISIS.” (See HERE and HERE.)
• According to Jordanian intelligence, Turkey trained ISIS militants for special operations.
4. Turkey Offers Medical Care to ISIS Fighters
• An ISIS commander told the Washington Post on August 12, 2014, “We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals.”
• Taraf reported on October 12, 2014 that Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, a founder of the AKP, said that Turkey supported terrorist groups and still supports them and treats them in hospitals. “In order to weaken the developments in Rojova (Syrian Kurdistan), the government gave concessions and arms to extreme religious groups…the government was helping the wounded. The Minister of Health said something such as, it’s a human obligation to care for the ISIS wounded.”
• According to Taraf, Ahmet El H, one of the top commanders at ISIS and Al Baghdadi’s right hand man, was treated at a hospital in Sanliurfa, Turkey, along with other ISIS militants. The Turkish state paid for their treatment. According to Taraf’s sources, ISIS militants are being treated in hospitals all across southeastern Turkey. More and more militants have been coming in to be treated since the start of airstrikes in August. To be more specific, eight ISIS militants were transported through the Sanliurfa border crossing; these are their names: “Mustafa A., Yusuf El R., Mustafa H., Halil El M., Muhammet El H., Ahmet El S., Hasan H., [and] Salim El D.”
5. Turkey Supports ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil
• On September 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure Turkey to crack down on ISIS extensive sales network for oil. James Phillips, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argues that Turkey has not fully cracked down on ISIS’s sales network because it benefits from a lower price for oil, and that there might even be Turks and government officials who benefit from the trade.
• Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on September 13, 2014 about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to nearby border towns in Turkey. The oil is sold for as little as 1.25 liras per liter. Taştekin indicated that many of these illegal pipelines were dismantled after operating for 3 years, once his article was published.
• On October 14, 2014, a German Parliamentarian from the Green Party accused Turkey of allowing the transportation of arms to ISIS over its territory, as well as the sale of oil.
6. Turkey Assists ISIS Recruitment
• Kerim Kiliçdaroğlu claimed on October 14, 2014 that ISIS offices in Istanbul and Gaziantep are used to recruit fighters. On October 10, 2014, the mufti of Konya said that 100 people from Konya joined ISIS 4 days ago. (See HERE and HERE.)
• OdaTV reports that Takva Haber serves as a propaganda outlet for ISIS to recruit Turkish-speaking individuals in Turkey and Germany. The address where this propaganda website is registered corresponds to the address of a school called Irfan Koleji, which was established by Ilim Yayma Vakfi, a foundation that was created by Erdogan and Davutoglu, among others. It is thus claimed that the propaganda site is operated from the school of the foundation started by AKP members.
• Minister of Sports, Suat Kilic, an AKP member, visited Salafi jihadists who are ISIS supporters in Germany. The group is known for reaching out to supporters via free Quran distributions and raising funds to sponsor suicide attacks in Syria and Iraq by raising money.
• OdaTV released a video allegedly showing ISIS militants riding a bus in Istanbul.
7. Turkish Forces Are Fighting Alongside ISIS
• On October 7, 2014, IBDA-C, a militant Islamic organization in Turkey, pledged support to ISIS. A Turkish friend who is a commander in ISIS suggests that Turkey is “involved in all of this” and that “10,000 ISIS members will come to Turkey.” A Huda-Par member at the meeting claims that officials criticize ISIS but in fact sympathize with the group (Huda-Par, the “Free Cause Party”, is a Kurdish Sunni fundamentalist political party). BBP member claims that National Action Party (MHP) officials are close to embracing ISIS. In the meeting, it is asserted that ISIS militants come to Turkey frequently to rest, as though they are taking a break from military service. They claim that Turkey will experience an Islamic revolution, and Turks should be ready for jihad. (See HERE and HERE.)
• Seymour Hersh maintains in the London Review of Books that ISIS conducted sarin attacks in Syria, and that Turkey was informed. “For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbors, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.”
• On September 20, 2014, Demir Celik, a Member of Parliament with the people’s democratic party (HDP) claimed that Turkish Special Forces fight with ISIS.
8. Turkey Helped ISIS in Battle for Kobani
• Anwar Moslem, Mayor of Kobani, said on September 19, 2014: “Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages: Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and videos about this. Why is ISIS strong only in Kobane’s east? Why is it not strong either in its south or west? Since these trains stopped in villages located in the east of Kobane, we guess they had brought ammunition and additional force for the ISIS.” In the second article on September 30, 2014, a CHP delegation visited Kobani, where locals claimed that everything from the clothes ISIS militants wear to their guns comes from Turkey. (See HERE and HERE.)
• Released by Nuhaber, a video shows Turkish military convoys carrying tanks and ammunition moving freely under ISIS flags in the Cerablus region and Karkamis border crossing (September 25, 2014). There are writings in Turkish on the trucks.
• Salih Muslim, PYD head, claims that 120 militants crossed into Syria from Turkey between October 20th and 24th, 2014.
• According to an op-ed written by a YPG commander in The New York Times on October 29, 2014, Turkey allows ISIS militants and their equipment to pass freely over the border.
• Diken reported, “ISIS fighters crossed the border from Turkey into Syria, over the Turkish train tracks that delineate the border, in full view of Turkish soldiers. They were met there by PYD fighters and stopped.”
• A Kurdish commander in Kobani claims that ISIS militants have Turkish entry stamps on their passports.
• Kurds trying to join the battle in Kobani are turned away by Turkish police at the Turkey-Syrian border.
• OdaTV released a photograph of a Turkish soldier befriending ISIS militants.
9. Turkey and ISIS Share a Worldview
• RT reports on Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks detailing Turkish support to ISIS.
• According to the Hurriyet Daily News on September 26, 2014, “The feelings of the AKP’s heavyweights are not limited to Ankara. I was shocked to hear words of admiration for ISIL from some high-level civil servants even in Şanliurfa. ‘They are like us, fighting against seven great powers in the War of Independence,’ one said.” “Rather than the [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK on the other side, I would rather have ISIL as a neighbor,” said another.”
• Cengiz Candar, a well-respected Turkish journalist, maintained that MIT helped “midwife” the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, as well as other Jihadi groups.
• An AKP council member posted on his Facebook page: “Thankfully ISIS exists… May you never run out of ammunition…”
• A Turkish Social Security Institution supervisor uses the ISIS logo in internal correspondences.
• Bilal Erdogan and Turkish officials meet alleged ISIS fighters.
(The above report is by David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights.)
See also: article in The Intercept ‘Turkey’s president ignores ISIS, stokes civil war with Kurds“