December 1, 2015
Turkey is attempting a crackdown, as information on their direct connections to ISIS leaks out all over the place.
They have arrested journalists who reported on their connections to ISIS.
One of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s key contentions in the ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia is that everything that Russia has accused Turkey of doing, from funding the Islamic State’s oil purchases, to providing weapons for Syrian “rebels” intent on eradicating the Assad regime, is unfounded slander without a shred of evidence.
Here is the problem: evidence does exist, as we showed two days ago, when we presented the role Erdogan’s son Bilal has played in ISIS oil transit, and not only that but also proof that Turkey has been smuggling weapons to Syria as the editor and a reporter from Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper showed some time ago.
And in order to eradicate the evidence against him, yesterday Erdogan did what every dictator does when feeling threatened: he had the editor and his reported detained, jailed and accused of espionage precisely over the controversial story about an alleged arms shipment from Turkish intelligence to Syrian rebels.
The two Cumhuriyet journalists were accused of “political or military spying” by reporting “classified information” and “deliberately aiding a terrorist organization.”
And more recently, they have arrested generals who blocked weapons shipments to ISIS.
The official claim is that they are terrorists for trying to stop the arms going to terrorists.
A court in Istanbul has ordered the arrest of three senior army officers, including two generals on charges of espionage and leading a terrorist group in a case involving the search of Turkish intelligence trucks in 2014.
The court made the ruling on Sunday.
General Hamza Celepoglu was accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization and of trying to overthrow the Turkish government. General Ibrahim Aydin and a retired colonel, Burhanettin Cihangiroglu, were accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization as well as spying and trying to oust the Turkish government, according to Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan.
The three suspects were called to an Istanbul courthouse on Saturday as part of an investigation involving the search of trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence (MIT) in 2014.
In January of that year, several trucks were stopped by the local gendarmerie in southern Adana and Hatay provinces on the grounds that they were loaded with ammunition, despite a national security law forbidding such a search.
Erdogan claims all of these arms were going to Turkmen FSA allies, which is plausible but unlikely.
Meanwhile, Russia is openly accusing them of buying oil from ISIS and shooting down a Russian plane to protect ISIS.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he’ll resign if Moscow can prove its claim that Turkey shot down a Russian plane to protect its oil trade with ISIS.
“As soon as such a claim is proved, the nobility of our nation requires [me] to do this,” Erdogan told reporters at the climate change summit in Paris on Monday.
But, he added, if the allegations are untrue, then Russian President Vladimir Putin should resign.
“I am asking Mr. Putin, would you remain?”
And so goes the escalating war of words between the two nations which began after Turkish aircraft shot down a Russian warplane near its border with Syria on November 24. The pilot died.
Turkey says the plane was in its airspace; Russia it was bombing ISIS targets.
As such, their domestic situation is getting very complicated.
The recent developments in Turkey, including the arrests of three top officers for intercepting Syria-bound trucks that belonged to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the arrests of journalists charged with espionage look like a “choreographed fight against abettors of foreign villains,” writes a journalist from RIA Novosti.
“It is absolutely clear that in Turkey’s top echelons there has begun …“some stirring,” Pavel Ivanov wrote in his article for the RIA Novosti website.
Ankara, he says, will pretend to be “fighting against traitors among its public servants who had taken the side of terrorists. But what about the stream of information that the radicals are being supported, not just by some particular Turkish civil servants or those in uniform, but by the whole political top elite of the country?”
So, the author predicts, we will witness more of a “choreographed fight against the abettors of foreign villains” rather than a real fight against terrorism, as Turkey will need to restore its stained reputation.
We will see more arrests among the country’s generals, but for another reason – as a mean of “elementary self-protection.”
The country will almost surely suffer from the economic and political consequences of its unmasked aggression towards Russia and it might well destroy the power of those at the top.
And in hard times for the country, the officers and the army traditionally take on a special responsibility. A similar situation happened back in 1980, when, after the Turkish coup d’état, headed by Chief of the General Staff General Kenan Evren, power was transferred to the country’s armed forces. As a result, 50 people were executed, 500,000 were arrested and hundreds died in prison.
And this is the scenario, which the current president and his so-called allies, “fear like the plague”. “Thus the process has begun.”
Erdogan definitely doesn’t have the type of popular support that dictators/supreme leaders tend to have. It’s going to be difficult to hold it together. Turkey is not as religious of a country as other Middle Eastern countries, and probably unwilling to make any huge sacrifice for ISIS.
The EU, however, is intent on making sure they don’t have to sacrifice much in order to continue their cooperation with ISIS.
And there is the other question: how will the world look upon the EU’s decision to be so closely linked with Turkey, as it becomes more and more undeniable that this country is working directly with ISIS?