Delicate Operations

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Delicate Operations

Political supporters wave Turkish national flags during a pro democracy demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Turkey’s government is setting up an inner cabinet to oversee the implementation of the state of emergency it declared after the botched coup, ramping up the effort to purge the influence of its accused mastermind. Photographer: Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg

Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront

The political picture of the world is changing very dynamically and dramatically. Recent events in Turkey are further evidence of this. An analysis of a situation that is similar to the one in Turkey, usually reflects the following: either someone has devised a savvy strategy that lays the foundation for the stable development of the situation with a minimal risk, or volatility is expected due to a lack of strategy. So far there wasn’t a third option. But life shows that there is something else after all. A third way. We observe the emergence of a new stage of strategic planning and forecasting, as instability and risks are becoming not only the background, or an obstacle to the realization of a strategic line. On the contrary, they take the form of a basic instrument for the strategy itself. What I think we see in Turkey is namely the third option. The US, Russia, China, EU, ​​Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Syria, and not the least of all Erdogan, played and continue to play out the instability in our southeastern neighbor, depending on their strategy. That is to say, multiple projects are superimposed in Turkey. They mix, sometimes overlapping or disagreeing with each other, and thus is formed the picture in the country, the region, and why not in the world. Each actor “holds at gunpoint” their target, which tolerates a certain fluctuation to the changes in Turkey.

The unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is a vivid illustration of the above. As a result of the putsch in our southeastern neighbor, certain economic and military alliances can collapse, or someone’s geostrategic plans can be ruined. The dramatic events in Turkey illustrate different strategies of the new generation. They are not the most important intermediate or even the ultimate goals of one or another action. Today, the objectives may change at any time depending on developments. The most important are the benefits the “player” receives due to the artificially induced chaos. The profound changes in the principles of building strategies, impose new requirements on political analysis and expertise. First, it is necessary to part with “collective selective amnesia,” that at first glance seems unexplainable. Second, we must categorically reject the analytical approach – “a horse with blinders,” which more closely resembles a highly unintelligent propaganda. Like for example, that Vladimir Putin has organized the attempted coup in Turkey, using the Russian military intelligence in Syria. This was first written in Ukrainian media and was later repeated on national media by a supposedly serious Bulgarian politician, an expert on issues of special services, and exposing their intellect to serious danger.

Its complicated to solve Erdogan’s puzzle consisting of Islamists, Kemalists, Gülenists, turkomani, Arabs, Sufi orders, Christians, Kurds, Ezidis, Kurds, Muslims, Assyrians, Satanists of DAESH, Uighurs and whatever else comes to your mind. Everything is geopolitics and geo-economics! Everybody talks about the legacy of Kemal Ataturk, but forgets that modern Turkey was founded with the blessing of Soviet leaders. They knew that if there is Turkey, there is also the Montreux Convention, which guarantees security on the southern border of the USSR. A question of literate geopolitical thinking.

Some forgot, that on the eve of the putsch, Russian geopolitician and Eurasianist Aleksandr Dugin was on a several-day visit to Turkey. His presence on the evening of July 15th at a Turkish airport, is perceived as a fun coincidence that doesn’t deserve attention. But in fact he was in Turkey as a guest of Turkish nationalists-Eurasianists of the organization “Ergenekon”, which a decade ago tried to overthrow Erdogan. The organization consists of Turkish military-Eurasianists, most of whom were then rounded up by the Turkish authorities to jail. Aleksandr Dugin was again in Turkey, just before “Ergenekon” members were arrested. What a coincidence! Through such people, messages are usually transmitted. Henry Kissinger also performed such missions. The name of Aleksandr Dugin always causes hysteria among supporters of the Euro-Atlantic geopolitical side. Worldwide and in our country. Because he is one of the most prominent ideologues of the Eurasian Union.

Just before the attempted coup in Turkey, other key events occurred. Ankara sharply improved its relations with Moscow and Tel Aviv. Left aside is the fact that Turkey’s improved its relations with a key country in the Arab world – Egypt.

When it comes to Turkey, external factors have for years played with the theme of Ataturk’s “Heritage”. This happens whenever there is a suspicion that Ankara could change to some extent its geopolitical orientation. The organizers of the coup also played with the theme of “Ataturk”. The committee “Council for Peace in the country”, who spoke on behalf of the coup, is an allusion to the famous speech of Kemal Ataturk. During the park Gezi events in 2013 in Istanbul, there was again a reference to Ataturk. Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not officially blame Fethullah Gülen back then. The demonstrations at Gezi were associated with the team around John Kerry. But we have to consider the following. The topic of “Ataturk” is very important for Turkish people, but it is necessary to monitor who uses the topic. Opponents of Erdogan, the organizers of the coup, rather overeplayed the confrontation between Erdogan and Ataturk. Turkish intellectuals felt this delicate moment. Now any attempt to talk obsessively about this subject from abroad, is perceived as manipulation. Whenever the confrontation sounds like its coming from outside, the Turkish intelligentsia sees it as “someone trying to mess with us.”

The behavior of the media group “Dogan” was also significant, as it can not be accused of supporting Recep Erdogan. The “Hurriyet” newspaper, which belongs to this media group and is not controlled by Erdogan, supported the Turkish president. The “Dogan” media group give a platform to the president during the most critical moment in the dramatic events. This media group has nothing to do with the typical media grant-feeders, that are rampant in the Balkans. It is purely national, and a part of the Turkish establishment. The head of the media group supported Erdogan with an impassioned speech just in the nick of time. Something absolutely unthinkable before the attempted coup.

If Erdogan’s power is reinforced in the coming months, we will see an Islamist republic within NATO. With an established dictatorship regime. The head of Turkey will be an unpredictable and ambitious president who will command all three branches in the country. Will it continue to pursue its neo-Ottoman revanchist plans? To clarify – the Justice and Development Party is in the big family of the “Muslim Brotherhood”. It includes “Hamas”, the Syrian “Brothers” who are fighting against Bashar al-Assad, and the Egyptian “Brothers” who wage war against the regime of General Sisi in Egypt. There is an abundance of information about the events in Turkey. At the same time, its very difficult to “filter” information about the actual processes taking place in the Turkish military and political elite. What is happening in Turkey, determines not only the present and future of the country, but also the balance of the geopolitical vectors – Balkans, Europe, Asia, and the world. From the internal Turkish processes, depend Ankara’s relations with Brussels, Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Riyadh, Doha, and not to mention Sofia.

Even early in the bloody events in Turkey, it became clear that the leadership of the main Turkish special service MIT, gave the word to a “speaker” in the structure. There is an ongoing purge of the leadership of MIT. Apparently, the Turkish president is planning a radical change of the management of key Turkish special services. There was a rumor that the longtime head of MIT, Hakan Fidan, considered to be close to Erdogan, but an American graduate, would be sent away as an ambassador to Japan. Then it turned out that he is still in his post. The possible trip abroad, was on hold. Whether because of the complicated internal political situation or because his personal wish is to go to the US. Deputy head of MIT, Ismail Hakki Musa has already been appointed Ambassador to Paris. Although France is a prestigious and symbolic for Ankara, this is a case of an honorable exile before retirement. Deputy head of MIT was previously the Turkish ambassador in Brussels. There he coordinated the operations of the Turkish intelligence that was eradicating leaders of the PKK in Western Europe. After a successful overseas mission, he returned to the center of the managerial position. Ismail Hakki Musa as deputy chief of MIT attempted to reach a truce with the PKK. But after the failure of negotiations, the physical liquidation of PKK people began again. This time in Turkey. According to unconfirmed data Ismail Hakki Musa is the organizer of the noisy terrorist act in Suruch, where Kurdish activists were killed. The case was blamed on DAESH, but the Kurds began to kill Turkish police and military for revenge. Ismail Hakki Musa, according to the Russian Institute for Middle East, recruited jihadists them and send them to Syria, or used them in Turkey. Two years ago he attempted to create a Kurdish “Taliban” in northern Syria by recruited agents of PKK cadres in Turkish prisons. This attempt was stopped by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

Obviously, Erdogan is freeing himself from the leadership of MIT, which to date works to solve the Kurdish problem in a “hard” way, by using jihadists in Syria. The Kurdish factor is central to the Turkish state. Maybe the Turkish President will seek to change his Kurdish policy. But only after a referendum amending the constitution. Otherwise it will cause dissatisfaction of a significant part of his electoral base. Davutoglu and Fidan have long offered this policy change with the Kurds, but Erdogan rejected it because of its inexpedience to him personally. But he did not reject it due to principle.

Interesting facts came around the failed coup about the former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu before the Turkish president relinquished him of his services. It turned out that during his last visit to the US he had to-one meetings with bankers from Wall Street and made commitments behind Recep Erdogan’s back.

Ankara’s warm up in relations with Moscow and Tel Aviv are also relevant for the planned, upcoming and crucial for Erdogan referendum which aims to transform Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential republic. The EU did not provide visa-free regime for the Turks, Berlin acknowledged the Armenian genocide and Brexit reinforced the impression that the Turkish policy in the west was wrong, and so Erdogan needs a different foreign policy. It’s no secret that the Turkish president and the Israeli prime minister are not “darlings” of the power group around Hillary Clinton which has very serious positions in the Pentagon and the CIA. United States have shown that as a “strategic ally” they have no scruples when they need to remove one of its allies around the world. For example, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia. Both were swept away in 2011 by organized coups by the gentle name Arab Spring.

Especially interesting is that only hours after the start of the putsch in Turkey, rumors began to spread that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is frightened, fleeing or had already fled to Berlin, Paris, London and others. This is a classic technique to discredit the national leader in front of people and to disillusion his supporters. Absolutely the same formula was applied in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. At the outset reports came out that he had fled abroad with his family. This is the same handwriting that the organization of the coup came from outside. There’s hardly anyone left that believes in the spontaneity of the Arab Spring. And there is hardly a sane person who would believe that Recep Erdogan himself spread these rumors. Just a classic stereotype to discredit a leader.

At the time of writing this analysis there is not enough verified information about events in Turkey. But it is clear that the coup failed. The names of the senior Turkish officers who took part in the putsch are not yet announced. It is not known whether Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar was involved in the coup. But it is known that at the end of May, two emissaries of the General visited Damascus and met with Assad on his behalf. Who are they? These are the former head of military intelligence and the nationalist Dogu Perenchek. Both suspects in the case of “Ergenekon”. Both hosts of the last visit of Alexander Dugin in Turkey. Anyway, Hulusi Akar so far has not returned to his post.

Judging by observations during the first hours of the coup, almost all the military command of Turkey was against Erdogan, or was on the side of the plotters. Who with their actions. Who with their silence, or inaction. They were waiting for the answer to the main question: Is Erdogan killed or not? Once they understood that the president has survived, higher military ranks distanced themselves from the rebels. This shows that Erdogan still has serious opposition among the military, and more specifically among the old elite. What led to the coup? There are serious reasons to believe that in the last 1-2 months, Erdogan was preparing a sharp change of foreign policy in the country. Currently, all are concentrated in the triangle US-Turkey-Russian Federation. As for Russia’s policy towards Turkey, it is abundantly clear. Russia knows that Turkey is a major “player” in the American geopolitical strategy “Anaconda”, which aims at strangulation of the Russian Federation, to fragment and return it to the times of Boris Yeltsin. Baltic-Black Sea rim, which make up the United States begins from the Baltic and passes in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and ends with Turkey.

Therefore, the removal of Turkey from the US strategy “Anaconda” is a major geopolitical goal of Moscow. This is why Russia reacted swiftly to the attempted coup and supported the government in Ankara. Radical changes in Turkish foreign policy are about to rearrange the geopolitical mosaic in favor of the Kremlin. The change in US policy toward the Kurds and the desire of certain circles in the United States to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan, push the Turkish president to seek a warming of relations with the Kremlin. Whether this trend will continue or will be stopped, it will become clear over time. But only through this prism concerning the strategy “Anaconda”, may we seriously evaluate the actions of Vladimir Putin regarding Turkey. This is the prism of real geopolitics. There is no room for sentimental irrational tirades that are far from realpolitik.

There is also a radical change in the relationship in another triangle, USA-Turkey-China. The leader of the Uighur movement for the creation of East Turkestan Rabia Kadir is in America. He is one of the big figures of the pan-Turkic movement that is apparently supported by the United States. On the other hand, Fethullah Gülen is engaged in active educational activities within the Turkic countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, but also among Turkic and Muslim communities in South Asia and Africa. The movement for the creation of East Turkestan on the territory of China Sindzyan- Uighur autonomous region is a natural part of pan-Turkic movement. In mid-2015, Turkey was anti-China with the support of the expatriate community of Uighurs. At the end of the same year China began to work out opportunities for the active involvement of Turkey in the “economic belt of the Silk Road” through the construction of a transport corridor involving Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine. It should be emphasized that on June 29, 2016, ie shortly before the coup in Turkey, the Chinese and Turkish energy Ministers, signed preliminary agreements for cooperation in nuclear energy. It was a breakthrough that the Americans did not like. Even earlier, on June 24, Turkey spoke against India’s participation in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is essentially supporting the Chinese position. At the beginning of July 2016 contacts between Ankara and Beijing aimed at discussing the construction of railway communications within the “economic belt of the Silk Road” sharply intensified. It is quite clear that a seizure of power by the military and Gülenists, and a sharp destabilization of Turkey would negatively affect the dynamically developing Turkish-Chinese relations. Moreover, such destabilization would be sped up with activity of supporters for the creation of East Turkestan in China. Which serves US geopolitical strategy in Asia. Keeping in mind that the movement of Fethullah Gülen, “Hizmet” held a conference in Taiwan on December 2012 at an event named “Hizmet Movement” – the thoughts and teachings of Fethullah Gulen – contributions to multiculturalism and the global world.” It was attended by leading Taiwanese universities. “Hizmet” already created their own school in the Taiwan port Haosyun.

The publication US Foreign Policy also shed light on the event, as it has a particular political orientation. Editor David Rodkopf wrote articles at the end of last year, about what a remarkable politician Hillary Clinton is. About Foreign Policy has a colorful audience, from different parties. There are many military personnel from military institutes working in the field of American military strategy, politics in the Middle East and others. Between them there is a consensus. All are against Donald Trump. It is important to analyze the way in which the publication analyzes issues in recent times. Key personnel in the Pentagon who were close to John Kerry were replaced with people of David Petraeus, the former head of the CIA. After this replacement, there was a change in the line of Foreign Policy. The theme of the Kurds started to be commented in a different way, and the formula “Great Kurdistan” began to be used. No longer is there talk about the “suffering Kurdish people” but instead the “future Kurdish state” is discussed. And not just for Turkish Kurds, but for all Kurds in the region. In other US publications there are also analyzes about Great Kurdistan by authors close to the team of the Bush clan. After the overthrow of Ahmed Davutoglu, Foreign Policy published articles that this valuable Turkish politician didn’t unite his supporters and didn’t opposed Recep Erdogan, and that he left the Turkish political scene unfairly. Comments containing a mixture of sympathy and contempt. Foreign Policy, however, fails to mention the contacts of Ahmed Davutoglu with bankers from Wall Street. They also didn’t mention his intrigues in the Turkish Parliament, when he failed to perform the requested constitutional change that Recep Erdogan demanded (to shift from parliamentary to a presidential regime). Foreign Policy assessment of the current situation in Turkey is “sad”. Behind Foreign Policy stands a round of US institutes and think-tanks. One of them is Stanford University, which actively discusses the topic “how to elect Hillary Clinton as president.” How to avoid someone else from being elected. These are working groups that bring together Republicans and Democrats. At Stanford University, professors close to David Petraeus and Hillary Clinton are invited as honorary members. Both are accused of the emergence of the Islamic state. To the group can be added the newly formed Center for a New American Security. The current president of the center is Michelle Angelique Flurnoa, who is rumored to head the defense Ministry if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election. Another representative body behind Foreign Policy is The Truman National security project in which the main and symbolic figure is Madeleine Albright. This structure held joint events with the US-Turkish alliance and with a forum that is used by Fethullah Gülen. On May 3, 2016 Truman National Security Project held an event attended by many generals to discuss the situation in Turkey. The topic was: What to do and how to not allow changes? The event involved a prominent figure – General Mark Welsh, former Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. Previously, he was an adviser to the heads of the CIA David Petraeus and Leon Panetta. In an attempt to realize a coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key role played namely the Turkish Air Force base in Incirlik, where the USAF (US Air Force) is at home. There is no doubt that at the base there is a CIA team. There was even the opinion that the leader of the coup is the chief of the Turkish Air Force.

French analyst Philippe Grasse wrote that a former Belgian pilot who has done work years ago in “General Dynamics” (producer of F-16s) as a representative in Ankara, shared an interesting information. Turkey is the base for US “exports” in the region, and the conducting of “delicate operations”. According to the former Belgian pilot the “Turkish Air Force is a direct extension of USAF (US Air Force) – a fact that was not known in Europe.” Against the background of this information, the idea that the pilot of the Turkish F-16s which took down the Russian Su-24, and the pilot that targeted the Turkish president during the coup as being one and the same, is not quite devoid of logic.

New York Times published a scandalous article on May 5, 2016. In it there the deputy adviser of Obama’s National Security Ben Rhodes, is harshly criticized, because he harms US-Saudi relations, and lobbied for deals with Iran that aren’t favorable to the US. In the article, Leon Panetta has many curse words towards Ben Rhodes.

On the eve of the coup on July 13, 2016 two key figures in Turkey said that the country can negotiate with Bashar Assad, even though Saudi Arabia wants to overthrow him at any cost. The Foreign Policy reacted quickly. It reported that between Moscow and Ankara, there are secret channels of communication, which are operated by suspicious people. The name of Dogu Pirinchek is mentioned, toward whom Armenians are negative about. That is why in Armenian mass media, the version that Erdogan himself has organized the coup was promoted.

Several centers of power in Washington are very interested in Ankaras relations with Tel Aviv. On the same day, when the New York Times defamed Ben Rhodes, a very influential political figure arrived in the Stated from Saudi Arabia – Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence. He attended an event of the Institute for Near East Policy, as a speaker. There were three main points. First, if the United States continues to make concessions to Iran, then Riyadh will acquire a nuclear bomb. Second, Trump is unacceptable as president of the United States. And third, Netanyahu is also unacceptable, and must be replaced. After the event on the Internet was posted a photograph of Prince Faisal, who shook hands with the Minister of defense of Israel, Moshe Ayalon. Just a week later, Moshe Ayalon was kicked out of Bibi Netanyahu’s cabinet. Which ended rumors that the current Israeli prime minister may be replaced by his defense minister. Another coincidence. Some time ago, 51 employees of the State Department, wrote an open letter calling for ground troops in Syria and to make changes in American Middle East policy. Just then, the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Salman had arrived in the United States. The pressure was strong, but eventually the plans to change US policy on Syria, failed. Additionally, the UAE left the Yemen coalition, which dealt another blow on the same power center in the US and Saudi Arabia. A simultaneous failure of those around Prince Faisal and those around Clinton. On July 23, 2016 Foreign Policy posted a comment explaining why the White House does not comply with the suggestions from those 51 officials from the State Department. And from that moment Hillary Clinton stopped pressuring Barack Obama to introduce a “no-fly zone in Syria.” She was convinced that Recep Erdogan will not fall from power, and began to publicly support him. Obviously, at that time, Hillary Clinton seems to have abandoned the “simple hard decisions” offered by the people from the power structures around her. But only for now. Until the US presidential election, there is a small “time window” for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Now they are on the move. What they have decided, we will understand after the meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9, 2016.

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